Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Supporting the Introduction of the Abandoned Mine Land Reauthorization Act

March 10, 2021

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the introduction of the Abandoned Mine Land Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Abandoned Mine Land Trust Fund, which is set to expire in September 2021. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) and Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA-15) introduced this bill today in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

“On behalf of our state agencies and the public they serve, I applaud Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Thompson for championing reauthorization of this critical program,” said Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “These lands represent billions of dollars in unfunded projects and continuing the Trust Fund is now more important than ever. These projects are exactly the type of future-focused investments we count on Congress to support, enabling our agencies to accomplish even more in their work to ensure healthy fish and wildlife while providing thousands of jobs to hard working Americans.”

“Many of these lands are at the nexus of habitat, safety, and water quality issues, and continued restoration efforts are vital to the health of aquatic and terrestrial species,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director for the Association. “Restoring and reclaiming these often overlooked lands would not be possible without the Trust Fund. Enthusiasm for the outdoors is at an all-time high, as we see in the record breaking use of our public lands and waters, and we must answer this call by providing more opportunities to experience nature the way everyone should – With healthy, flourishing habitats.”

“Conserving, maintaining and restoring land and water resources are critical to healthy fish and wildlife populations,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. “To make sure abandoned mines do not continue to cause hazards for fisheries, it’s important that we restore mine sites after their usefulness has ended. The bipartisan legislation that Reps. Cartwright, Thompson and Rogers have introduced will make sure federal funding is available to support healthy fisheries where past mining activity has left its mark.”


The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.