Taking Action on Climate
The Washington Association of Land Trusts endorses Initiative 1631, a ballot measure that addresses carbon pollution and community resiliency in the face of a changing climate. Climate change affects us all. We believe that it is time for our community to take action, and that land and water conservation is part of the climate solution.
Washingtonians addressing climate change
We applaud the citizens of Washington State for taking action to protect clean air and water and prepare our communities for the impacts of climate change by getting Initiative 1631 on the ballot. Climate change is already impacting the communities where we live and work, and the integrity of the lands and waters we have protected across the state.
I-1631 aligns with WALT’s carbon principles
WALT has developed a series of principles that any climate initiative should include. In the proposed Initiative 1631, Sections 4(1)(h), 5(2)(a), and 5(2)(b) align with these principles.
- Section 4(1)(h) directs funds towards programs, activities, or projects that result in sequestration of carbon across a variety of natural and working lands and waters. These investments will help to mitigate some of the fundamental drivers of climate change by supporting our efforts to prevent conversion of at-risk farmland and forestland and to manage the lands we own for increased carbon storage.
- Section 5(2)(a) allocates funds that would support our ongoing protection and restoration of estuaries, floodplains, shorelines, and near shore habitats. These investments will be critical for increasing water storage and availability, mitigating the impacts of flooding, rising seas, and severe coastal storms, as well as supporting recovery of vulnerable fisheries and marine mammals.
- Section 5(2)(b) directs funds to be used to support projects that increase wildfire resilience and improved forest health in the face of a changing climate. These investments will be instrumental for maintaining the productivity of working forestland under our protection, safeguarding our strategic efforts to provide ecosystem resilience and connectivity for wildlife, and ensuring the safety of our respective communities throughout the state.
Natural Climate Solutions
Climate change is an enormous, complex challenge that faces us all. Land trusts and the private landowners we work with will play an important role as Washington works to address this challenge for today and the future. With deep expertise in preventing conversion of open space, restoring the health of native habitats, and protecting working landscapes, land trusts are ready to be part of the solutions proposed by Initiative 1631.
WALT is the unified voice for conservation issues of our time. You can support our statewide coalition by donating to WALT today.