Mapping Climate & Environmental Justice: Lessons Learned from Local & Regional Tools

PARTNER EVENT: National Wildlife Federation – Federal policymakers are giving increasing focus to environmental justice mapping tools, recognizing their potential in furthering environmental and climate justice. These tools can reveal what kinds of communities are (and aren’t) at risk from environmental hazards, and the compounded pollution and climate burdens some communities face. These tools can also help policymakers understand where environmental justice communities are located, and where climate impacts are being felt first and worst—information that should help inform the ambitious climate priorities of the Biden-Harris administration.

This webinar will highlight lessons learned from existing local and regional mapping tools and efforts to inform these current national discussions.

Parks Maintenance, LWCF, and Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Contact: Naomi Edelson | 202-797-6889 | edelsonn@nwf.org

Dedicated Wildlife Funding Must be Included

  • America’s wildlife is in crisis — with more than one-third of all species imperiled. This monumental problem demands an equally big solution.
  • The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a fiscally responsible, national strategy to hasten the recovery of more than 12,000 potentially at-risk species through the United States.
  • The bill would invest $1.3 billion of existing funding — collected from energy and mineral fees on federal lands and waters — into state-based solutions by supporting the State Wildlife Action Plans mandated by Congress.

 

Recovering Wildlife, Parks Maintenance, and LWCF:

  • All of the parks maintenance bills and one of the LWCF bills call for dedicated funding.
  • Three pillars of conservation funding are needed- 1 for wildlife, 1 for parks, 1 for LWCF
  • Dedicated Wildlife funding has broad bipartisan support with more than 70 cosponsors in the House
  • Dedicated Wildlife funding has widespread support of more than 1000 diverse businesses and groups
  • Saying we can only address the national parks backlog or conserve wildlife is a false choice. We can do both and should refuse to play these connected priorities off each other.
  • After all, one of the main reasons people visit our national parks and other public lands is to see wildlife.

Current Parks Maintenance Legislation

After years of congressional underfunding, the National Parks Service is facing a backlog of more than $11 billion in deferred maintenance repairs. National Park facilities are reaching the end of their lifecycles, and the NPS is struggling to maintain the parks system’s enormous infrastructure, all at a time our parks are experiencing record visitation. Congress is now seeking more funding to address the backlog.

 

Senate:

  •  2509– National Parks Restoration Act, Sponsor: Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund. Funding is provided through 50% of all unallocated money received from onshore and offshore energy development or renewable energy development. LWCF, Reclamation, and other programs funded through energy development will be funded first. This bill prohibits land acquisition.
    • 8 Cosponsors: Sen. Capito (R-WV), Sen. Daines (R-MT), Sen. Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Manchin (D-WV), Sen. King (I-ME) Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 3172– Restore Our Parks Act, Sponsor: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)  (Hearing on July 11th at 3pm- Senate ENR Nat’l Parks Subcommittee)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund that provides 50% of the unallocated money of the money from onshore and offshore energy development or renewable energy development up to $1.3 billion per year over five years for a potential total of $6.5 billion. 65% of the funds are to be spent on non-transportation projects and 35% on transportation projects.
    • 3 Cosponsors: Sen. Warner (D-VA), Sen. Alexander (R-TN), Sen. King (I-ME)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 751– National Park Service Legacy Act of 2017, Sponsor: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund that slowly escalates over 30 years to provide a total of $11.6 billion in funding. 20% of the funds will be allocated to roads and transportation. 80% of the funds will be spent on non-transportation projects. Funding will come from unallocated money from onshore and offshore energy development and renewable energy development. This bill prohibits land acquisition and this funding is not allowed to replace existing discretionary funding.
    • 21 Cosponsors: 21 (16 D’s, 4 R’s, 1 I)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

House:

  • 5210– National Park Restoration Act, Sponsor: Mike Simpson (R-ID)
    • Companion bill to S. 2509
    • 11 Cosponsors: Rep. Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Hurd (R-TX), Rep. Bishop (R-UT), Rep. Torres (D-CA), Rep. LaMalfa (R-CA), Rep. Cramer (R-ND), Rep. Ross (R-FL), Rep. Cook (R-CA), Rep. Walorski (R-IN)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 2584– National Park Restoration Act, Sponsor: Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)
    • Companion bill to S. 751
    • 80 Cosponsors (40 D’s and 39 R’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

Current LWCF Legislation

Issue Overview:

The Land and Water Conservation uses revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling to support the conservation of national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, national forests, and national wildlife refuges. There is a substantial backlog of federal conservation needs are currently estimated at more than $30 billion.

 

Senate:

  • 896– A bill to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Sponsor: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
    • Permanently reauthorizes the Land Water and Conservation Fund, and directs a portion of LWCF funding (1.5% or $10 million annually) to opening up additional access to public lands for hunting, fishing, and other recreation
    • 12 Cosponsors: Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Collins (R-ME), Sen. Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Daines (R-MT), Sen. Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Graham (R-SC), Sen. King (I-ME), Sen. Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Capito (R-WV)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 569– Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act, Sponsor: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with Sen. Burr as cosponsor
    • This bill permanently reauthorizes LWCF and provides for full, dedicated and permanent funding.
    • 43 Cosponsors: (38 D’s, 3 R’s, 2 I’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

House:

  • 502– To permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Sponsor: Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
    • Companion bill to S. 896
    • 229 Cosponsors: (193 D’s and 36 R’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

Wild About Water

For most people in the U.S., water is something we have traditionally taken for granted.  Unless you live somewhere very rural, chances are you expect water to come out of the tap when you turn it on. The average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day, and that amount only includes personal consumption rather than the indirect consumption from farming, ranching, industrial, and energy uses. (1) 

Just like us, wildlife and plants depend on water, and its availability and quality can mean the difference between life and death. Water is a resource that we share with native wildlife, not to mention domestic animals and livestock. Our water usage impacts them and vice versa. As Water Quality Month, August is a great time to reflect on the role water plays in our lives and the lives of our wildlife neighbors.

Here are just a few of the ways water helps us and/or native wildlife:

  • Breathing. It may seem counterintuitive for us, as humans, but certain animals like fish and amphibians actually use water to breathe. Fish, for instance, exchange dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from water via their gills. Amphibians do the same thing in their larval stage, and even as adults, they “breathe” through their thin skin.
  • Drinking. Although it varies based on activity level, climate, health, and other factors, the average adult should drink between 2-3 litres (9-13 cups) of fluid daily. (2) There is too much variation between individual animals to estimate average fluid intake for each species but just imagine the type of range you might see between a thirsty adult mouse and a thirsty adult moose!
  • Eating. Not everyone likes seafood or aquatic plants for dinner, but plenty of animals find those items delicious.  In fact, in some cases, food that grows in the water is their only form of nutrition!
  • Bathing/swimming. We bathe and swim to cool off, clean ourselves, and because it’s fun (well, at least the swimming part). Other animals use water for the same reasons which is why it’s so important to provide water sources in your backyard habitat.

VIDEO: Earlier this year, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources shared a video of a bear bathing in one of the agency’s installed water guzzlers back in 2011. Cool bear, happy bear.

  • Raising young. Many animals, including fish, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, and others, spawn (release eggs and sperm) directly into water. For some species, the water’s current is necessary to make sure the eggs get fertilized.

1. http://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html

2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256