The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was signed into law today. The landmark legislation will renew U.S. efforts to save iconic species in the wild, support conservation, fight the progress of invasive species in the U.S., and promote innovative solutions to some of conservation’s most difficult problems.

WCS commends the administration for signing the bill, and thanks Senators John Barrasso and Tom Carper and Reps. Alan Lowenthal and Don Young for their leadership, along with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell for including it in the bipartisan lands package.

Foremost among the provisions to improve international conservation is inclusion of the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act, which reauthorizes the Multinational Species Conservation Fund (MSCF). For the past 30 years, the MSCF has helped conserve some of the world’s most iconic species – elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes, and marine turtles for 30 years. In addition, The WILD Act expands the Marine Turtle Conservation Act to include tortoises and freshwater turtles, the most vulnerable group of vertebrates on the planet.

Said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs:  "Today is a great day for wildlife. Whether it’s an elephant living in the rainforests of the Congo, or a tiger hunting in the grasslands of India, or a sea turtle swimming on the far seas, their future just got a little brighter with passage of this landmark legislation.”

The new law, named after the late John D. Dingell, Jr., the  longest serving Member of Congress and a tireless conservation champion, permanently extends the Land and Water Conservation Act, a key U.S. law that has helped to protect wild places in the United States for 55 years. The bill also reauthorizes the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which supports the conservation of millions of birds from more than 300 species that breed in North America and winter in the tropics.