House Passes Thompson's America's Conservation Enhancement Act

Oct 1, 2020
Press Release
Landmark legislation to boost national land conservation efforts

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced the House passage of his bill, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act. This sweeping legislation establishes several new conservation programs and reauthorizes and increases many others. These provisions boost wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation efforts, a long-time priority of Thompson’s since his days in the California State Senate.

“Our nation’s natural resources are a source of beauty and recreation for so many, especially now during the Coronavirus pandemic. People want to get outdoors right now and want to make sure the public lands they love can stay open for generations. That’s why today I am so proud to vote to pass my bill, the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, which increases access to public lands and reauthorizes wildlife conservation programs, so people can continue getting outside and doing what they love,” said Thompson. “While creating more opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors, this bill also provides critical financial relief for the businesses around our public lands. It’s a win for our environment, our economy, and for our people across our nation who will be able access these lands for generations to come. I urge the President to sign it into law as soon as possible.”

“The ACE Act directly benefits wetlands conservation in California by reauthorizing NAWCA, which is arguably the most important source of waterfowl habitat funding in our state,” stated Mark Hennelly, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the California Waterfowl Association. “NAWCA funds help restore and enhance wetland habitat not only on duck clubs, but also National Wildlife Refuges and State Wildlife Areas that are open to public hunting, bird watching and other outdoor recreation. We greatly appreciate Rep. Thompson’s longstanding support of this voluntary, non-regulatory program.” 

“The passage of the ACE Act today is fantastic news for the conservation community,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam. “In a package filled with vitally important conservation provisions, perhaps none are more crucial to waterfowl habitat than the reauthorization of NAWCA. Thank you to all the members of Congress who have identified the importance of conservation and worked with DU and others to achieve one of our highest legislative priorities. We’re elated to see such game-changing legislation pass both chambers of Congress, and we stand ready to help implement this important piece of America’s conservation legacy once the President signs it into law.”

The American’s Conservation Enhancement Act now heads to the President’s desk for signature. The bill reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails network and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Grants Assistance Program, all key conservation programs with a proven history of success. The legislation also establishes a chronic wasting disease task force and authorizes Federal funding to combat invasive species. Finally, the bill works to increase partnerships between public agencies and outside groups to conserve local fish species. You can read the full text here.


Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Rep. Thompson is two-time co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and he also co-chairs the Wildlife Refuge Caucus, the Shellfish Caucus, the Salmon Caucus and the Invasive Species Caucus. He is the only Member of Congress in the California Waterfowl Hall of Fame. He also serves on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.