In the midst of an economic recession, investing in conservation is as important as ever. Audubon Washington supports full funding of both natural resource agency budgets and state grant programs such as the Washington Wildlife and Recreation program and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund. Grant programs such as these underpin habitat restoration and management projects that are critical to ecosystem and human health.
Protecting birds, wildlife, and our outdoor recreation economy is as important as it has ever been. Slashing the budgets of our natural resource agencies will only lead to economic pain. For example, hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching contribute three and a half times as much to the state general fund as the legislature appropriates to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Tackling greenhouse gas emissions
Audubon’s own research shows that slowing the rate of global temperature rise by reducing harmful carbon emissions in our air will have meaningful benefits for birds and people. While our electricity sector is on a path towards 100% clean energy, we must curtail emissions from our state’s transportation system to reach our climate goals. A Clean Fuel Standard will set clear limits on the carbon pollution from transportation fuels while also supporting the development of biofuels and transportation electrification projects that benefit low-income Washingtonians.
Planning for a changing climate is a key component of protecting birds and the places they need for generations to come. Audubon Washington is working with state and local partners to update the state’s Growth Management Act, requiring counties to plan for climate resilience. This means recognizing the value of natural solutions for climate change as well as the role natural infrastructure can play in making our communities more economically resilient.
Green Recovery Bonds
Lawmakers should embrace the opportunity to leverage Washington’s excellent credit rating and historically low interest rates to invest in conservation and climate action.
Healthy environment for all (HEAL) Act
State government activities must be grounded in a vision of inclusive participation and equitable outcomes, focused on overcoming the impacts of ongoing structural racism.
Replacement of shoreline armoring should contribute to the recovery of Puget Sound by encouraging and supporting alternatives that are least impactful for fish.
Transportation for All
Washington’s transportation budget must be aligned with our state’s greenhouse gas emissions goals. We also must ensure we have stable and equitable funding for a clean and just transportation system.