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On Monday, the Trump administration submitted an index of projects that will get funding under a conservation program, which could help protect a number of important national parks throughout the nation. The only issue is that the administration submitted this list a week after it was due to Congress.
Why This Matters: This funding was the result of a bipartisan law which passed August 4: the Great American Outdoors Act, which gave the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) $900 million dollars over five years to help maintain the country’s national parks and undertake further conservation projects. According to the law, the Trump administration had 90 days to put together two lists of projects, one for maintenance, the other for further conservation. The Interior Department gave Congress the maintenance list on time, but submitted the conservation list a week late.
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva told The Hill that it was “somewhat perplexing and raises a lot of questions about this administration’s intent.” Moreover, even the maintenance list — the one that the Trump administration turned in on time — was lacking important information. Grijalva continued: “We asked for detailed projects lists and got a bunch of numbers,’ he said. ‘The lack of transparency and accountability is ridiculous.”
All A Ploy? As Wes Siler of Outside Online explained, not only does the missed proposal threaten the success of a huge variety of conservation projects, but advocacy groups warn it could be an attempt by the Trump administration to undermine the act’s goals.
The move coincided with the election, even as vulnerable Republican senators who supported the GAOA campaigned on its passage.
Organizations hoping to spend LWCF funds—state and local governments and various non-profits—are now left with nothing but uncertainty, meaning they can’t set budgets, hire contractors, or conduct planning.
Reaching 30×30: The recipients of LWCF funding will help begin widespread conservation efforts across the country. The list includes 20 Fish and Wildlife Service projects and 26 National Park Service Projects that cover areas like the Everglades, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Glacier National Park.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A condo collapse in Miami is prompting new conversations about the threats rising sea levels and flooding present to the nation’s infrastructure. Experts say that it’s too early to determine whether or not climate change contributed to the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers. But they also warn that as sea levels rise […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Louisiana loses almost a football field of land each day, caused by a combination of climate change-fueled sea level rise, reduced sediment flow from the Mississippi River, and the land gradually sinking. One area that’s not slipping underwater: Avery Island, the birthplace of Tabasco hot sauce that’s still the […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and part of the state Cabinet have approved a highway extension spanning a portion of the Everglades. The move rejects a 2020 recommended order from Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, claiming that the project was incompatible with continued efforts to establish protections in the region. Legal challenges are […]
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