Hiking the Hill: Speaking up for Nature in Washington, DC

One of our biggest events of the year is the day we join hundreds of trustees and staff from around the country and the world to use our “Voices for Nature” in Washington, DC: Advocacy Day.

Volunteer leaders and staff members from all 50 states traded in our hiking boots for business suits to spend a busy day on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress about The Nature Conservancy’s top priorities. This year, we focused our conversations with lawmakers on how to address climate change and the importance of investing in conservation, in addition to discussing the pressing issue of forest health in Washington.  

Our Washington state delegation included two of our most dedicated and passionate volunteer leaders – Board Chair Kate Janeway and Trustee Greg Moga.  They’re both seasoned advocates. Both have attended Advocacy Day for several years in a row, but that’s only the beginning. They’ve actively championed our policy work all year round throughout their Board service, always willing to lend a hand in service to our mission.  We are incredibly appreciative of their time, energy and flexibility as we took to the Hill together!

We thanked Senator Cantwell for her tremendous leadership to save the Land and Water Conservation Fund during our Advocacy Day meeting on June 12. From left, Washington state director Mike Stevens, state Board chair Kate Janeway, Senator Cantwell and TNC Global Board Chair Fran Ulmer. TNC photo.

We met with both Senators from Washington state, Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell. This meeting with Sen. Cantwell was a special one: we had the privilege of presenting her with a commemorative photograph to thank her for her amazing and steadfast leadership on a major victory for conservation earlier this year: permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  TNC’s incoming Global Board Chair, Fran Ulmer, joined us to help thank Sen. Cantwell for years of hard work to ensure America’s most important conservation program will be around for generations to come.

Congresswoman Kim Schrier spoke with us about forest health, climate change and investing in nature-based solutions to environmental challenges. Photo by Alicia Bissonnette.

We also met with Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Congresswoman Kim Schrier (WA-08), two of our representatives in the House.  We had the opportunity to thank Congresswoman Schrier for her excellent Op-Ed in The Hill about the importance of acting on climate change for public health.  As a physician, she knows better than most what a toll climate change is taking on Washingtonians’ health, especially the most vulnerable.

The advocacy doesn’t stop with a single day: we’re Voices for Nature every day, whether we’re talking with elected officials in Washington, DC, in Olympia, or at home.  You can be, too – join us by sending a quick message to your representatives in Congress using the button below.