2023 State Legislative Priorities — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

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workforce development

An area where the Nature Conservancy in Washington will be expanding our focus is around opportunities for workforce development. The transition to a carbon-free future won’t be without its pain points, but we are looking toward the future with optimism. Across our priorities and activities, there are opportunities to re-train and re-tool workers that can both contribute to a thriving local economy, and move us into a sustainable future. Taking care of workers in turn means supporting families, local economies, and the overall vitality of our state.   

advancing past climate legislation

Environmental Justice— Thanks to the passage of the HEAL Act, several state agencies have been tasked with identifying and addressing environmental health disparities in overburdened communities and underserved populations. In addition, the Environmental Justice Council (another result of the HEAL Act) has produced recommendations for closing gaps in health disparities and ensuring a more equitable future through state budget investments and effective implementation of our climate laws. We support the work of this council and state agency requests related to environmental justice and ask lawmakers to fully fund and implement their recommendations.   

Salmon Recovery & Habitat— Salmon continue to languish due to numerous factors, including rising water temperatures and other habitat impacts. We will advocate for meaningful, strategic investments to protect and restore critical habitat, follow the lead of tribal nations and their salmon recovery priorities, and support collaborative investments proven to work best with critical land owners.   

Forest Health and Wildfire Resilience— HB 1168 was a major victory in setting a standard for the type and scale of investments we will need to ensure healthy forests in the face of increasingly severe wildfire threats. We will advocate for protecting this bill’s legacy by maintaining and expanding investments in forest restoration and community fire resiliency.   

Urban Forestry Investments— The urban tree canopy provides untold benefits to our communities, and we’d like to see investments in this budget that include: increasing community grants to maintain and improve tree canopy; developing a statewide Tree Equity Score Map and conducting a tree canopy analysis; develop and update ordinances for tree canopy; and utilize youth corps conservation crews and workforce training groups for tree maintenance and planting. 



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