WASHINGTON (WATE) — The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted and passed the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which is a bill aimed at conserving endangered species. The bill passed in a 231-190 vote and will next head to the U.S. Senate.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 2773), which would create a fund of more than $1.3 billion to go to states, territories and tribal nations for wildlife conservation, had been initially introduced in April 2021. The bill would also provide funding for the conservation or restoration of wildlife and plant species “of greatest conservation need,” and for wildlife conservation education and recreation projects.

The bill summary also states the U.S. Department of the Interior must use a portion of the funding for a grant program; and the grants must be used for innovative recovery efforts for species of greatest conservation need, species listed as endangered or threatened species, or the habitats of such species.

On Monday, the White House issued a statement of support for the bill, stating it would “equip fish and wildlife managers with the tools necessary to proactively address the most critical fish and wildlife conservation needs that we face today.”

There are reportedly hundreds of endangered or threatened species in the U.S., according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which lists its species reports in its Environmental Conservation Online System.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation on Tuesday night commended the bill’s passage in the U.S. House, tweeting “From waterfowl to monarch butterflies, #RAWA is great news for the conservation of species that need our help.”

Tennessee representatives voted by the following:

  • Tim Burchett (R) – Nay
  • Steve Cohen (D) – Yay
  • Jim Cooper (D) – Yay
  • Scott DesJarlais (R) – Nay
  • Chuck Fleischmann (R) – Nay
  • Mark Green (R) – Nay
  • Diana Harshbarger (R) – Nay
  • David Kustoff (R) – Nay
  • John Rose (R) – Nay

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which calls Tennessee and North Carolina home, is the most biodiverse park in the National Park system.

“Biodiversity means the number and variety of different types of animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms in a location or habitat,” Smokies Park tweeted on May 22, or International Day for Biological Diversity. “Over 20,000 species have been documented in the park (more than 1,000 new to science!) and scientists believe an additional 40,000-60,000 species may live here.”