TPL applauds 'groundbreaking' agreement in US Senate to advance comprehensive climate change legislation; nonprofit notes commitment to climate-smart conservation through Urban and Community Forestry program, Forest Legacy Program and other initiatives

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WASHINGTON , August 1, 2022 (press release) –

Deal reached by Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin will commit billions for climate change spending

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) reached a groundbreaking agreement this week to advance the most comprehensive climate change legislation in history. The package contains a broad-based set of tax and spending provisions to advance urgently needed clean energy solutions and climate responses, including $369 billion in federal funds to address the needs of communities all across America. Trust for Public Land (TPL) applauded the legislation and noted its welcome commitment to climate-smart conservation through the Urban and Community Forestry program, the Forest Legacy Program, and other initiatives. 

“The time to act is now, and so we are extremely grateful to Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin for seizing this moment,” said Bill Lee, president of The Trust for Public Land Action Fund and Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Government Relations for TPL. “As we are in the middle of another summer of extreme weather and deadly heat waves, the Inflation Reduction Act will provide much needed funding to help address the climate crisis and protect vulnerable communities from the deadly effects of climate change. Parks and open space help to counter the worst effects of climate change and with funding from the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance program, cities and towns across the country will be able to plant millions of trees to cool their neighborhoods and absorb stormwater.”  

As part of its 2022 ParkScore® index, TPL surveyed parks departments in the 100 most populous cities to see what they are doing to respond to climate change. The results showed eighty-five percent of cities are adapting parks and recreation facilities to address climate change and seventy-seven percent are enlisting parks to counter urban heat.  

The package also includes $700 million for the USDA’s Forest Legacy Program, which conserves forests and their carbon sequestration capacities against an ever-present threat of conversion and loss. TPL is a national leader in working with private forest owners to protect working forests across the country from development.  

Protected forestland maintains traditional land-based economies and supports local businesses while also protecting wildlife, watersheds, outdoor recreation areas, and other public resources. Just as we all depend on America’s forests to capture and store carbon, countless communities rely on them to ensure clean drinking water and sustain local economies.   

"The natural climate solutions and conservation opportunities throughout this bill will make a real difference in the lives of Americans and the future of the world we share,” said Lee.  “We urge Congress to send this vital legislation to the President’s desk without delay.” 

About Trust for Public Land   

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org. 

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Dan Rivard
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