By Brittany Gallagher, External Affairs Manager
We’re in Olympia working for nature funding — funding that ensures Washington’s beloved coast, forests, rivers and Puget Sound will thrive, along with our communities that depend on them.
Last week, the state House and Senate held hearings on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed capital budget, which was released in December. The governor’s budget has focused, in part, on building our state’s resilience to the effects of climate change, which is among The Nature Conservancy’s top priorities.
The Washington Coast Restoration Initiative (WCRI) was also shown a high level of support in the governor’s budget, with $12.5 million in funding proposed to support restoration and job-creation programs along Washington’s coast.
Another highlight of the governor’s proposed budget was a $100-million level of funding for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP). Andrea McNamara Doyle, executive director of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, said the organization was “thrilled” that the governor had funded the program at its historic level.
“His budget recognizes how important it is for this program to keep pace with our state’s rapid population growth,” she said. “The multiple economic and environmental benefits of these investments will help ensure Washington remains such a special place where people choose to live, work, and recreate in our great outdoors."
The Nature Conservancy in Washington is committed to advocating for people-oriented solutions for more resilient natural resources during this legislative session. This includes:
- Advocating for funding for forest and community resilience, including reducing the risk of wildfires and contributing to the economic well-being of forest communities.
- Making communities safer through the Floodplains by Design partnership, which works to reduce flood risk, improve wildlife habitat and integrate sustainable agricultural practices with restoration activities.
- Contributing to restoration of ecosystems and rural economic livelihoods on our iconic coast through the Washington Coast Restoration Initiative.
Several advocacy days in support of forest health, Floodplains by Design and the Washington Coast Restoration Initiative, as well as our partners’ advocacy days including Big Tent Rally Day, Parks & Great Outdoors Lobby Day and Washington Association of Land Trusts Day: These are some of the ways you can get involved during the month of February. Watch this space and sign up for updates in the form at the bottom of this post for more information about these events.
If you are interested in advocating for nature during this state legislative session — by visiting Olympia or from the comfort of your own home — please email us.
Nationally, The Nature Conservancy invites you to call on the Trump administration and Congress to keep nature on the political agenda and use science to guide conservation. Please lend your voice and ask our federal leaders to stand up for nature.