Members of Congress call for job creation in stimulus bill

Nearly 80 members of Congress wrote to House leadership last week to request that forthcoming stimulus legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic include a “Restoration and Resilience Jobs” title focused on environmental and natural resource concerns.

Congress has passed one economic stimulus bill in response to the coronavirus pandemic and is considering future legislation.

The recommended “Restoration and Resilience Jobs” title is designed to create millions of jobs in natural resources and “improve public health by removing pollution from our air and water, expand access to nature and recreational amenities, bolster community resilience to hurricanes, inland floods, and megafires, sequester carbon dioxide, and recover imperiled wildlife species.”

The title also includes funding for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would provide $1.4 billion in dedicated annual funding for enacting state, territorial and tribal wildlife conservation projects to conserve at-risk wildlife species. The Act was reintroduced in July 2019 and has strong bipartisan national and grassroots support. The letter also recommends funding for threatened and endangered species recovery plans, the National Wildlife Refuge System and wildlife crossings.

The lawmakers liken the new title to the Civilian Conservation Corps program developed in the 1930s by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the midst of the Great Depression, which put more than three million young adults to work restoring natural resources and building recreation infrastructure across the country.

The Wildlife Society recently wrote to leadership of both the House and the Senate, asking them to consider the needs of wildlife professionals and to support their work to address pressing wildlife disease and management issues in the next stimulus. Like the congressional letter, TWS requested support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, as well as existing programs addressing wildlife diseases such as the National Wildlife Health Center and the National Wildlife Research Center.

Header Image: Members of Congress signed a letter supporting a “Restoration and Resilience jobs” title in the next stimulus package. Credit: BLM Oregon/Washington