On June 29, WildEarth Guardians joined over 200 wildlife, conservation, and environmental justice groups in supporting several provisions of The Moving Forward Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on July 1, 2020. The $1.5 trillion infrastructure package includes a number of provisions identified in the groups’ recent $25 billion Restoring Work, Restoring Wild request to Congress. That request urged Congress to use the opportunity of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to “revive the United States economy by investing $25 billion in new and existing conservation programs that will create hundreds of thousands of direct jobs and provide benefits to people, communities and the environment.”
Specific components of the Restoring Work, Restoring Wild request that are incorporated into The Moving Forward Act include:
- $300 million from the National Highway Performance Program for wildlife crossing project such as the construction of overpasses and underpasses for wildlife to safely cross highways to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.
- The bipartisan Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act, which provides critical funding for states, tribes, landowners and federal agencies to identify and protect wildlife corridors.
- A $3 billion grant program for coastal and Great Lakes resilience and restoration, as well as a separate grant program to build living shorelines to support flood resilience.
- $50 million per year for the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program, which has a proven history of success and has created many thousands of jobs while restoring fish and wildlife habitat.
- principles of environmental justice and generally maintains the integrity of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws.
The Moving Forward Act is a forward-looking effort to revive the economy and create good jobs while also addressing climate change, improving drinking water and air quality, and protecting fish and wildlife habitat. Instead of returning to “normal,” Congress has an opportunity—indeed a duty—to step up to safeguard the environment, workers and the public, and create more resilient ecosystems, public health benefits, and quality of life improvements in communities throughout the United States. The Moving Forward Act is a good first step.
Read the press release.