Green Jobs Restoring the Land - Economic revitalization that fights global warming

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

As the Congress considers proposals to revive the economy by putting people to work rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, the time has come to use existing authorities to create jobs that protect America’s green infrastructure from crumbling in the face of global warming. Green Jobs Restoring the Land will stimulate the economy and return significant economic benefits, especially in rural communities. Many public lands programs are authorized and ready to ramp up ongoing but underfunded work restoring native forest and grassland structure, ecosystem resilience, habitat protection for threatened and endangered fish and wildlife, invasive species removal, native tree species replanting in both urban and rural settings; all of which helps these natural systems capture and store vast amounts of global warming pollution while protecting communities from degradation and deforestation.

These include:

  • The Public Lands Corps
  • Youth Conservation Corps
  • The Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program
  • Coastal Wetlands Restoration (CWPPRA)
  • Existing contracting authority at NPS, FWS, USFS, BLM and others

In order to revitalize the economy, Congress should invest $1.5 billion in existing programs to create jobs focused on restoring the capacity of healthy landscapes to fight global warming and better withstand impacts that are already underway. The existing Public Lands Corps program, for example, is a successful mechanism for improving our public lands while simultaneously providing needed work and training in forest and habitat restoration.

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