NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – An important bird, crucial to New Mexico’s Pinon Pine is at risk for extinction. Now, lawmakers in Washington, including Senator Martin Heinrich, are fighting to keep them and so many other endangered species from dying off.

Senator Martin Heinrich, a hunter himself, knows how important our public lands and native species are to keeping New Mexico, special. “Wildlife and land is so embedded in our culture,” Heinrich said.

That’s why he, along with other lawmakers in Washington D.C. have been working on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The bill, which passed with bipartisan support, will give states $1.4B every year, to help save endangered species before it’s too late.

“This bill will give us the ability to help recover wildlife when you can still make a difference,” Heinrich explained. Like the Pinon Jay here in New Mexico. Its numbers have been dropping over the last fifty years. The Jays are credited with helping reseed pinon trees, by storing away pinon seeds and spreading them.

“If we’re going to maintain these pinon forests, we need Pinon Jays,’ Heinrich said, during a hike at the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Santa Fe. He’s hopeful the money will help keep important native species alive, allowing our ecosystem to thrive. The bill passed in June. From the $1.4B given to the states, tribes will be given $100M.