Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for the bipartisan America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act to protect wildlife and their habitats, and to conserve the natural areas that are so important to Wisconsin’s sportsmen and women. When signed into law, this legislation will conserve wetlands, combat invasive species, and address Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Earlier this year, Rep. Kind sent a letter with Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01) to congressional leadership that successfully advocated for this important bill to receive a vote on the House floor.
According to Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, 1,319 deer tested positive for CWD in 24 counties across Wisconsin in 2019. Nine of those 24 counties are in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, including Adams, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Juneau, Portage, Richland, and Vernon. In March 2019, Rep. Kind introduced the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act, bipartisan legislation to support state and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies to combat CWD and expand research regarding its causes. The legislation has the support of the entire Wisconsin House Congressional Delegation and has strong support from sportsmen and wildlife organizations.
“As a born and raised Wisconsinite, I’ve always loved spending time outside hiking, hunting, and fishing. Some of my favorite memories are of mornings spent in a deer stand teaching my sons the same outdoor traditions I grew up with,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “We need to continue to expand conservation efforts to preserve habitat and address threats to Wisconsin’s outdoor economy – one of the largest being CWD, which has the potential to devastate our deer herds. That’s why I was proud to introduce bipartisan legislation this Congress to combat CWD and vote for the ACE Act today. I will continue to work to ensure our natural resources and outdoor traditions are protected for generations to come.”
“Passage of the ACE Act will not only benefit deer, ducks, fish, and our water quality, but it will also create jobs in conservation and help to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities for millions of Americans just when we need it most,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Sportsmen and women are grateful to Congressman Kind for his longstanding leadership in support of this critical legislation.”
“For the past 18 years, chronic wasting disease (CWD) has posed a significant threat to the health of our local deer and elk populations. The many challenges that CWD presents impact more than just the state of Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston D. Cole. “The passage of this bill will help us deploy evidence-based best prevention and control practices across state borders to help stop the spread of this deadly disease.”
“Passage of the bipartisan ACE Act shows that even when Washington is divided on so many issues, members of the U.S. House and Senate will rally together across party lines to address serious conservation challenges,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We appreciate Representative Kind’s leadership on this historic conservation success, especially the critically important provisions to confront chronic wasting disease and enhance our outdoor heritage. The next necessary step is for the House to support state and tribal efforts to fight chronic wasting disease by swiftly passing the bipartisan Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act from Representatives Kind and Sensenbrenner.”
The ACE Act would conserve wetlands through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and combat invasive species. The ACE Act also includes provisions to address one of the largest issues facing Wisconsin’s outdoor economy, CWD, by establishing a task force to help manage and prevent the spread of the disease.