We are a voice for nature at the state, federal and international levels of government, advocating for policy to benefit our shared lands, waters and everyone who depends on them.
In Washington state, we work together with legislators, the governor and state agencies to address large-scale environmental challenges that transcend district boundaries. Some examples of our work in state government relations:
- We partner with the Department of Natural Resources on forest health, contributing to the science that helped inform DNR’s 20-year Forest Health Plan to restore millions of acres of Washington forests.
- We partner with the Department of Ecology and the Puget Sound Partnership on the groundbreaking Floodplains by Design program, reducing flood risk and restoring rivers across the state.
- We work with partners from other environmental organizations, labor groups, tribal nations and associations, social-justice organizations, businesses and other stakeholders on issues that affect us all, such as climate change. We recently filed a ballot initiative to bring the choice to price carbon pollution to voters.
At the federal level, we work with Congress, the presidential administration and federal agencies to protect bedrock environmental laws and important conservation programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Of course, these federal programs touch down at home in Washington — our state has benefited from dozens of LWCF projects, from installing a swing set at a county park to enhancing access to Olympic National Park and the Pacific Crest Trail.
We speak up for nature and people when decisions in Washington, D.C., affect the places we love in this Washington. Last year, when Hanford Reach National Monument was among the public lands under review by the U.S. Department of the Interior for potential changes in designation or boundaries, we partnered with other organizations, Nature Conservancy members and friends — including you — to show the administration how important this land is to us. Today, Hanford Reach remains protected.
This year, we are again speaking up — this time, in partnership with our Oregon chapter — to tell the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that we oppose opening Pacific Northwest waters to oil and gas leasing. As always, our positions are based on sound science and our mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
Our state and federal advocacy teams work together on other issues to make natural resource management work better for nature and people. We’re proud to be part of a coalition of forest stakeholders that cheered the signing of a Good Neighbor Authority agreement one year ago, which allows the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service to work together across boundaries for better forest management on state and federal lands.
Our support for a statewide price on carbon pollution underscores our chapter’s commitment to fighting global climate change. Other Conservancy chapters are working on what works best for addressing the climate challenge in their regions through TNC’s 50-state Climate Initiative. This state and national-level work is supported by The Nature Conservancy’s engagement at the international level, too, including our support for the global carbon-reduction goals set forth in the Paris Agreement. Scientists and policy experts from TNC offices around the world participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted by Fiji in Bonn, Germany, (COP 23) to share strategies for unlocking nature’s potential to combat climate change. Our partnership with U.N. agencies to work toward the organization’s Sustainable Development Goals is illustrated through our shared work in protecting our oceans, improving forestry management, protecting biodiversity and encouraging sustainable economic development.