SEATTLE - Gearing up for a whirl-wind 60 day ‘short’ legislative session beginning Jan. 10, Audubon Washington has announced their 2022 legislative priorities. Earlier this week, over 50 Audubon members across Washington state gathered virtually for the second annual Advocacy Day - sharing a vision of flourishing natural landscapes and thriving communities of birds and people.
“Advocacy day offered me a rare chance to not only show up, but to communicate directly with people in power and present real solutions for serious problems that matter to me and my community. It’s more important than ever to ensure our voices, as conservationists and passionate citizens, are heard by lawmakers.” ~Eliza Kronenberger, Audubon Member, Seattle
“Speaking with local legislators provided me the opportunity to advocate for initiatives I believe in with like minded individuals in a supported space. This was a fantastic opportunity and I hope that I can continue to strengthen my knowledge and learn from the community.” ~Katelin Johnston, Audubon Member, Tacoma
Below are the top focus areas for Audubon Washington in 2022:
Climate and Clean Energy
Washington State has made critical movement in addressing our climate crisis in the past few years, but it’s time for the Legislature to finish the job of ensuring a responsible transition towards 100% clean energy. To do so, we can:
Update the Growth Management Act (HB1099) to plan for climate resilience.
Create incentives for more solar power in our built environment.
Implement the Sustainable Farms and Fields program, to bring climate-smart farming investments to Washington.
The Puget Sound is in grave danger. The fate of our coastal birds, salmon, orca and all who rely on a thriving sound depend on us taking swift action. Governor Inslee is expected to prioritize salmon recovery in the coming years, and for Audubon’s part, we are focused on coastal conservation in the 2022 session, advocating that:
Legislators should pass a policy to improve public data, close enforcement gaps, and advance restoration of our shorelines - a critical habitat for countless treasured PNW species.
Remove unnecessary restrictions on how much money counties can invest in nature through the Conservation Futures program.
Protecting the Shrub-Steppe
Looking towards Eastern Washington, Audubon continues to lead in recovery and preservation of our shrub-steppe landscape. Transitioning to a clean energy economy requires siting a significant amount of utility-scale energy such as solar. Washingtonians deserve a thoughtful and community-informed process to ensure we reach our clean energy targets without sacrificing important conservation values. In the 2022 session, the Legislature should:
Increase staffing at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure the agency is properly equipped to gather and provide key data related to siting solar projects.
Protect funding allocated in 2021 for the least-conflict solar siting process in the Columbia Plateau.
Policy Priorities: https://wa.audubon.org/news/legislative-agenda-birds