Representatives make the most of this opportunity to fund wildlife crossings, public land access, and natural infrastructure solutions that benefit habitat and American communities
The House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) in a 228-206 vote tonight, advancing crucial conservation priorities for all Americans. The bill was passed by the Senate in August and now awaits the president’s signature.
“Making this commitment to our nation’s land, water, and wildlife signals that lawmakers understand the relationship between infrastructure and natural resources,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “The provisions within this comprehensive package are not only worth the investment as we think about the future—many are long overdue. We look forward to President Biden signing and enacting this legislation that makes a strong commitment to conservation.”
Numerous provisions in the $1.2-trillion bipartisan deal are top TRCP priorities, including:
- $350 million for a first-of-its-kind grant program to construct wildlife-friendly roadway crossings and reconnect fragmented migration corridors.
- $250 million for the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program to improve access to Forest Service public lands and safeguard fish and wildlife habitat from harmful runoff and pollutants caused by roads in disrepair.
- Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which pays for fisheries conservation, access improvements, and education for anglers and boaters.
- $1.4 billion for natural infrastructure solutions through the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Grant Program.
- $14.65 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program, which supports estuary restoration and stormwater management projects.
- $400 million for WaterSMART grants, with $100 million set aside for natural infrastructure solutions that enhance resilience to drought and wildfires, facilitate water conservation, create new habitat, and improve water quality.
- Significant investments in programs aimed at enhancing the resiliency of Western watersheds to climate change and drought, including $300 million to implement the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plans, $3.2 billion to modernize aging agricultural infrastructure and generate benefits for fish and wildlife, and $50 million to support ongoing Endangered Species recovery efforts that sustain habitat for native fish.
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the House tonight has not had the most straightforward path to completion, but the conservation provisions included in this package are a clear victory for American hunters and anglers, and they should be recognized and widely celebrated,” says Steve Kline, TRCP’s chief policy officer. “The impact of these investments will be felt by more than just migratory big game, waterfowl, and sportfish: Improving access, habitat, and water quality while lowering the risks of wildfire, drought, and storm damage will keep communities safer, boost our economy, and expand our hunting and fishing opportunities.”
8 Responses to “Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Secures Major Conservation Investments”
Take down Wereheyser gates on public roads. Let them gate their smaller roads.
At what cost?!?! All these benefits to wildlife conservation could have/SHOULD have been in a separate bill. Just because they threw us a bone does NOT mean we should accept all the wasteful spending that we, our kids and our grandkids are going to be paying for for decades!! This is a very minimal “win”. However, this is a tremendous loss to our incomes, our retirements, our estates, our family’s wealth, and our future.
Glad the current board at TRCP are showing their true colors so that we know how easily they will cave, and then call out and yell, “Victory!”…..
Curt, that may be more true with regard to the still-being-negotiated spending bill. This infrastructure bill isn’t loaded down with lots of controversial stuff. I presume you think improving roads, bridges, airports and ports, broadband internet, water and energy systems is worth spending federal dollars on. The bill that President Biden signed – and about which this article is written – came out of the Senate with 69 votes including Minority Leader McConnell and 18 other Republicans. It just passed the House with support from Republicans. So this is truly a bipartisan piece of legislation that managed to pass a very divided Congress – and with some solid conservation measures included. This is a win and should be celebrated as such.
celebrating the fact that the government has spent Trillions more then it has and had made us weaker as a result, no thank you.
I love public land, but has anyone thought far enough down the road to see a day the government is forced to sell off our lands to pay off its endless debt ? They did us no favors in Washington,
Absolutely elated! Its a great start!
Talk about wasteful spending – how about giving us back all the money that has been given in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans – who don’t need the tax breaks. That is a cost for most of us and a benefit for a few!
Where is all this “conservation” taking place exactly ? We in NW Colorado are being run roughshod over by “green” renewable Wyoming wind farm energy transmission lines taking electricity to Las Vegas & So. CA. Theses projects are a Warren Buffet / Phillip Anschutz pork boondoggle. They bisect to major watersheds, the Yampa & Little Snake Rivers, several WSA’s, a major big game migration route, the only priority Sage Grouse habitat in Colorado, a migratory bird flyway & waterfowl resting byway at theBrowns ParkNational Wildlife Refuge. I contacted TRCP for assistance to compel the State of Colorado to intervene but no such luck.
The infrastructure bill was long overdue. Biden deserves credit whereas his predecessors over the last 20 years did nothing. The federal land will never be sold off to pay debt down. It’s been tried over and over and does not gain any traction..read your history. It baffles me why people don’t understand that funding for our lands and infrastructure is critical to the long term health of this country. Tax breaks for rich people are not.