The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Peter DeFazio
Chairman
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Sam Graves
Ranking Member
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Raul Grijalva
Chairman
Committee on Natural Resources
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Rob Bishop
Ranking Member
Committee on Natural Resources
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

June 29, 2020

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Chairman DeFazio, Ranking Member Graves, Chairman Grijalva, and Ranking Member Bishop: 

On behalf of our organizations and our millions of members and supporters, we want to thank you for the positive wildlife and public lands conservation provisions in H.R. 2, the “Moving Forward Act.” We appreciate your tireless efforts in creating this massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. The investments it makes in wildlife and public lands conservation programs will create thousands of jobs and provide benefits to people, communities, biodiversity, and the environment. Several provisions included in H.R. 2 were highlighted in a letter sent May 18, 2020, focused on wildlife and land conservation, “Restoring Work, Restoring Wild,” that was signed by more than 200 conservation groups. 

Specifically, the Moving Forward Act provides $300 million from the National Highway Performance Program for wildlife crossing projects. This funding can be used by states to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions through wildlife mitigation measures, including construction of overpasses and underpasses for wildlife to safely cross highways. Each year, wildlife-vehicle collisions cost many lives and more than $8 billion in damage, but simple measures that H.R. 2 enables can reduce collisions by up to 97 percent. 

The Moving Forward Act also includes the bipartisan Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. This bill provides critical funding for states, tribes, landowners and federal agencies to identify and protect wildlife corridors. With one in five species at risk of extinction, biodiversity loss and fragmentation of natural habitats are among our nation’s greatest conservation challenges. Connecting habitats with corridors and crossings supports wildlife migration, creates more resilient landscapes, and allows native species to better adapt to a changing climate. 

In addition, H.R. 2 authorizes a $3 billion grant program for coastal and Great Lakes resilience and restoration, as well as a separate grant program to build living shorelines to support flood resilience. Dedicated funding for this work not only helps restore habitat for declining and endangered fish and wildlife, but also helps mitigate the disproportionate burdens frontline communities are currently facing from sea level rise, hurricanes, and flooding—all of which are exacerbated by climate change. 

Finally, the Moving Forward Act authorizes $50 million per year to the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program. This program has a proven history of success and has created many thousands of jobs. Much of the infrastructure associated with the use of public lands has been abandoned, left in disrepair, is no longer needed, and can create hazards for public land users and wildlife. Road decommissioning, road and trail repair and maintenance, and removal of fish passage barriers are desperately needed to help restore watersheds and habitat, improve access to recreation, and provide drinking water protection. 

We also want to express our appreciation that the Moving Forward Act embodies the principles of environmental justice and generally maintains the integrity of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws. These laws were designed to safeguard the environment, workers and the public, and create more resilient ecosystems, public health benefits, and quality of life improvements in communities throughout the United States. 

We are grateful for these specific, strong provisions in H.R. 2 and urge Congress to adopt them without delay. 

We look forward to working with you and other congressional leaders on additional important measures to put people back to work restoring public lands and maintaining abundant wildlife populations. Future legislation should continue to provide funding to conservation programs in desperate need. For example, the Bureau of Land Management Plant Conservation and Restoration Program requires additional funding to implement the National Seed Strategy, including the construction, operation and maintenance of up to five native seed storage facilities across the country. Native plant conservation programs are not only needed to protect the most imperiled species, but to ensure the long-term survival of all native plant species and plant communities. 

We also believe it is necessary for any future legislation to address the threats that invasive species pose to infrastructure and communities. Invasive species negatively impact some of the most treasured and biologically significant landscapes in the United States and lead to degraded habitat for fish and wildlife, yet invasive species prevention and control programs are dramatically underfunded. Addressing the proliferation of invasive species, through humane and, whenever possible, nonlethal measures is crucial to protecting vital infrastructure and restoring degraded landscapes and will provide many jobs while generating substantial returns on investment. 

Thank you for all of your work on the Moving Forward Act and in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We appreciate the beneficial provisions in the legislation that help biodiversity, the environment, and underserved communities. We look forward to continuing to work with you on additional conservation projects in desperate need of funding identified in our “Restoring Work, Restoring Wild” letter that would create many living wage jobs for people in the United States while also protecting our natural heritage. 

Sincerely, 

Advocates for Snake Preservation
Advocates for the Environment
Alabama Rivers Alliance
Alaska Clean Water Advocacy
Alaskans for Wildlife
All-Creatures.org
American Indian Mothers Inc. (AIMI)
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Animal Welfare Institute
Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.
Animas Valley Institute
Association for the Study of Literature and
Environment (ASLE)
Audubon Naturalist Society
Audubon Society of Central Arkansas
Cahaba Riverkeeper
Californians for Western Wilderness
Califronia Watershed Network
Carnivore Conservation Act
Cascades Raptor Center
Cascadia Wildlands
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Food Safety
Champaign County (IL) Forest Preserve District
Chesapeake Conservancy
Christian Council of Delmarva
Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
Ciudadanos Del Karso
Clark Fork Coalition
Climate Law & Policy Project
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Conservation Council For Hawaii
Cool Planet
Cougar Rewilding Foundation
Defenders of Wildlife
Delaware Valley Ornithological Club
Delta Institute
Earth Action, Inc.
Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light
Earth Path Sanctuary
Earthjustice
Earthworks
Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research
Eastern Oregon Legacy Lands
Endangered Habitats League
Endangered small animal Conservation fund
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
Environmental Protection Information Center
Florida Wildlife Federation
Footloose Montana
Franciscan Action Network
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges
Friends of Animals
Friends of Bell Smith Springs
Friends of Blackwater, Inc.
Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of the Bitterroot
Friends of the Eel River
Fund for Wild Nature
Gallatin Wildlife Association
Geos Institute
Global Justice Ecology Project
Grand Canyon Trust
Grand Staircase Escalante Partners
Oasis Earth
Ocean Conservation Research
Oceanic Preservation Society
Oregon Wild
OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Patagonia
Pathways: Wildlife Corridors of NM
Paula Lane Action Network, Sonoma County
Pelican Island Audubon Society
Pennsylvania Habitat Connectivity
Pesticide Free Zone
Physicians for Social Responsibility - Philadelphia
Predator Defense
Prince Georges Audubon Society, Incorporated
Project Coyote
Public Citizen
Public Lands Project
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
Rachel Carson Council
Rainforest Biodiversity Group
Raptors Are The Solution
Residents for a Liveable Moreno Valley
Resource Renewal Institute
RESTORE: The North Woods
Rio Grande Waterkeeper (WildEarth Guardians)
Rocky Mountain Wild
Rogue Riverkeeper
Russian Riverkeeper
Sacramento River Watershed Program
Salem Audubon Society
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council
SanDiego350
Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society
Save Our Sky Blue Waters
SAVE THE FROGS!
Sierra Club
Sky Island Alliance
Social Compassion in Legislation
Soda Mountain Wilderness Council
South East Idaho Environmental Network
South Florida Wildlands Association
Southern Maryland Audubon Society
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Southwest Environmental Center
Tennessee Ornithological Society
Tennessee Riverkeeper
The Lands Council
The Living Cosmos Society
Toxic Free NC
Trout Headwaters, Inc.
Audubon Society of Central Maryland
Bark
Battle Creek Alliance & Defiance Canyon Raptor
Rescue
Bayou City Waterkeeper
Berkeley Partners for Parks
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Bird City Wisconsin
Bird Conservation Network
Bonobo Conservation Initiative
Born Free USA
Boulder Rights of Nature
Brighter Green
Buffalo Field Campaign
Cahaba River Society
Audubon Society of Central Maryland
Bark
Battle Creek Alliance & Defiance Canyon Raptor
Rescue
Bayou City Waterkeeper
Berkeley Partners for Parks
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Bird City Wisconsin
Bird Conservation Network
Bonobo Conservation Initiative
Born Free USA
Boulder Rights of Nature
Brighter Green
Buffalo Field Campaign
Cahaba River Society
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Unexpected Wildlife Refuge
Union of Concerned Scientists
Utah Native Plant Society
Ventana Wilderness Alliance
Western Environmental Law Center
Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
Western Watersheds Project
Western Wildlife Conservancy
Western Wildlife Outreach, WA
Wild Horse Education
Wild Nature Institute
Wild Virginia
Wild Zone Conservation League
WildEarth Guardians
Wilderness Watch
Wildlands Network
WildWest Institute
Wisconsin Society of Ornithology
Wyoming Wildlife Advocates
Xun Biosphere Project
Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Yuba River Waterkeeper