Washington—Congress today passed a fiscal 2023 appropriations package. This includes significant investment in natural climate solutions and increased spending on critical conservation and research programs that benefit birds and humans.
Audubon has long advocated the Growth Climate Solutions Act (GCSA) embedded in a comprehensive spending package. GCSA creates a voluntary carbon market for farmers, foresters, ranchers, and other land managers. Signing the law will create a new program for self-certifying technical assistance providers and third-party verifiers in the agriculture and forestry sector. It also addresses barriers to entry for landowners seeking access to voluntary carbon markets and encourages science-based practices.
“It is imperative that land managers recognize the critical role they play in responsible conservation and reducing emissions from natural carbon stocks.” Elizabeth Gray, CEO of the National Audubon Society“The Growing Climate Solutions Act empowers farmers, ranchers, foresters and other producers to ensure that our working lands are part of a solution for a better future for people and wildlife. We will provide the necessary assistance to ensure that
Federal spending increased slightly for programs focused on restoring coastal and freshwater ecosystems, fisheries management, and protecting migratory birds. This includes restoration initiatives in the Great Lakes, the Delaware River Basin, the Everglades, and other critical ecosystems that benefit birds, other wildlife, and local communities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) program that manages migratory birds and provides grants for migratory bird conservation also increased slightly.
DOE invests in advances in testing and validation of technologies to help solar energy projects avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts on wildlife and ecosystems, and in improved scientific research into bird-sun interactions received $10 million to
Unfortunately, this package contained detrimental policy provisions on capercaillie and was not able to include the American Wildlife Restoration Act (RAWA), thus eliminating the opportunity to invest in state-level wildlife restoration efforts. Missed. RAWA has helped state wildlife agencies proactively protect vulnerable species. And while this year’s appropriations bill included increased funding for the protection of capercaillie, the USFWS should consider protecting capercaillie under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). By continuing to ban it, we are undermining science again.
“We are truly disappointed that Congress continues to prioritize politics over science. Sara Brodnax, Director of Public Land Policy, National Audubon Society“This provision sets a very alarming precedent for future intervention in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mission to protect and protect wildlife and their habitats.”
The spending package also includes parts of the Salton Sea Project Improvement Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation introduced last year that significantly expands the federal government’s ability to participate in projects in California’s troubled Salton Sea. doing. Changes in water use patterns and a warming climate are accelerating ocean evaporation, making them important stopover sites for migratory birds and jeopardizing the health of hundreds of thousands of people living nearby.
“The federal government owns about 40 percent of the land in and around the Salton Sea, but it is tied up in participating in state-run restoration projects,” he said. Frank Lewis, Director of the Salton Sea Program, Audubon, California“This law will greatly expand the Reclamation Authority’s ability to partner with other major landowners in the area. — State Government, Local Government, Tribal Government — To address the growing public health and environmental crisis in the Salton Sea. ”
Audubon continues to drive greater investment and conservation with many priorities for birds, people and places we need as the new Congress begins its spending plans for next fiscal year.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works across America using science, advocacy, education and conservation on the ground. State programs, nature centers, chapters and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan to inform and inspire millions of people each year and unite diverse communities in conservation efforts. increase. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world where people and wildlife thrive. For more information, visit www.audubon.org, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.