Green recommendations would boost states’ economy, create jobs across country

A green jobs site. Photo by Steve Zugschwerdt.

The Wilderness Society and 33 other conservation and public interest groups across America have joined together to create some guidelines for the federal government in 2011 that would generate jobs and protect natural resources. In a document called the “Green Budget” there are a variety of recommendations to Congress that offer incredible benefits to the American people — from preservation projects in New Hampshire to stimulating the economy in North Carolina. The guidelines include ways to stimulate the economy with the help of green jobs while sustaining clean air and water and protecting lands, oceans and wildlife.

“We heard President Obama, and we recognize the need for the federal government to tighten its belt, which is why we’re calling on Congress and the administration to eliminate wasteful spending.” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “The president and Congress have some tough decisions to make, but we believe sound economic and environmental policy go hand-in-hand. So while frugality is key, we must continue to invest in the kind of environmental initiatives that create jobs and protect our natural resources.”

The “Green Budget” proposes a range of funding priorities that vary from restructuring water flow patterns on peninsulas to acquiring more land for the public to enjoy.

One example is an initiative in New Hampshire’s Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. The pristine refuge preserves some of the finest wildlife habitat in the state of New Hampshire along with 8,700 acres of open waters. With the help of funding from Congress, an initiative called the Androscoggin Headwaters conservation project would help maintain the beauty of the New England area for the public to enjoy.

Another initiative supported by conservation organizations takes place on the opposite end of the East coast in North Carolina on the Albermarle Peninsula. Real estate and local economies are being threatened as the sea levels continue to rise. Critical habitats on the peninsula are also at risk. If this problem is left untreated, coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion will likely cause the area’s soils to become unstable as well as the businesses and structures that reside above.

The money allocated in the proposal for the Albermarle Peninsula would authorize different projects that would generate jobs, help the economy, and recreate the peninsula’s natural water flow patterns. Jobs ranging from biologist to engineer to surveyor to equipment operator would be created.

The “Green Budget” also recommends increasing funding in Montana to help the state get a handle on thousands of miles of National Forest roads that are not being maintained.

“We think new investments should be considered for our nation’s forests, where it will pay local dividends in the form of new jobs, clean water, public safety, improved fish and wildlife habitat,” said Joe Kerkvliet, a resource economist with The Wilderness Society.

These state initiatives are just three examples of the potential the “Green Budget” holds. The Wilderness Society encourages Congress to support these recommendations for a better economy and a greener, greater America.

photo: A green jobs site. Photo by Steve Zugschwerdt.