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Guardians, 200 Groups Call on Congress to Invest in Economic and Ecological Recovery

Date
May 29, 2020
Contact
Judi Brawer, (208) 871-0596, jbrawer@wildearthguardians.org
In This Release
Public Lands, Wildlife  
WASHINGTON— As Congress works to restart the American economy, over 200 wildlife, conservation and environmental justice groups recently requested $25 billion in funding for a broad array of new and existing wildlife and public-lands conservation programs that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and benefit people, communities and the environment.

The letter highlights projects that can be immediately implemented with additional funding, including recovering endangered species, building wildlife corridors, restoring watersheds and coastal areas, and addressing invasive species.

“Economic and ecological recovery are inextricably linked,” said Judi Brawer, Wild Places Program Director at WildEarth Guardians. “The economic and physical health of communities is tied to the health of the forests, waters, fish and wildlife. It’s time Congress recognized that and seized this opportunity to create immediate jobs that benefit all.”

“Congress has a unique opportunity to simultaneously put people back to work and restore our nation’s natural heritage,” said Stephanie Kurose, endangered species policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “A truly green recovery means restoring our public lands and conserving wildlife.”

The letter notes that on-the-ground conservation and restoration work is needed in virtually every corner of the United States. This work creates quality jobs that can’t be outsourced and provide employment opportunities for those suffering disproportionately from the current economic downturn.

“Bold investments in the recovery of fish and wildlife species and the restoration of the nation’s public lands and waters will provide countless benefits for generations to come,” said Josh Osher, policy director for Western Watersheds Project. “Funding for the programs and projects we have highlighted will improve our quality of life, protect and enhance public health, and provide many new high-quality jobs throughout America.”

The projects and programs outlined in the letter focus on changing our relationship with the natural world and are key steps towards protecting against future pandemics. Decades of scientific studies have warned that, in addition to live wildlife markets, habitat destruction and biodiversity loss create a significant risk of zoonotic disease crossover into humans.

A former logging road on the Olympic National Forest in Washington state was ‘rewilded’ as part of a science-based forest and watershed restoration project. Photo by WIldEarth Guardians.

Other Contact
Stephanie Kurose, Center for Biological Diversity, (202) 849-8395, skurose@biologicaldiversity.org, Josh Osher, Western Watersheds Project, (406) 830-3099, josh@westernwatersheds.org

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