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The House was set to vote to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, which will provide nearly $1B annually for parks and other conservation, but a group of Western Republicans has raised procedural hurdles that will delay final passage until late July, The Hillreported yesterday. The bill has overwhelming bipartisan support and is still expected to pass and be signed by President Trump, making the delay even more frustrating and futile. At the same time, a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) urges the United States to launch a major effort—a “Race for Nature” — to help the nation’s agricultural producers, who are facing a bleak economic future, by increasing opportunities to pay them for their conservation efforts.
Why This Matters: As the CAP Report explains, “Family farmers and ranchers need lifelines…Bold and swift investment in nature conservation can provide one.” According to CAP, an investment of at least $39 billion in the protection of new parks, restoration of coasts and public lands, reforestation, clean-up of orphan wells and abandoned mines, removal of aging and unneeded dams, and acceleration of private land conservation would create between 446,900 and 717,000 jobs over the next two years — a win-win.
Why The Delay?
Some Western Republicans have balked at the $900 million price tag for permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and are seeking to file amendments to change the Senate bill, which would then require House and Senate lawmakers to meet and agree. The House leadership would prefer to pass the Senate bill as is, which they can do if they wait until late in July. The Hill reported that those members have written a letter explaining their issues: “This bill sets that authorization funding on autopilot for generations to come. Such a decision to make permanent this massive federal land-buying program should be considered under an open process,” they said.
A Race for Nature Benefits Farmers and Climate Change
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Today, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released its 2021 Plowprint Report, which tracks the amount of grasslands lost to plow-up each year. This year’s study found that plow-up across the Great Plains has only continued to accelerate, releasing exorbitant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The report concludes that […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer With global temperatures rising and rainfall patterns changing, global agriculture is shifting too — with big changes projected. Places like Siberia and northern Canada that have been too frigid for farming in centuries past are expected to become cropland by the end of the century. But it’s not a […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer The National Park Service has closed down a large swathe of Alaska’s Denali National Park after excessive permafrost thawing caused landslide activity near the park’s only access road. The access road is now closed, blocking entry to about half of the park. Park officials say that although there have been landslides in […]
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