Latinos Community Leaders Visit Congressional Offices to Share Support for LWCF, Underscore Importance of Permanent and Full Funding to Local Communities
This week, 10 Latino leaders from HAF’s networks are visiting elected officials in Washington to share why the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been critical to their communities and why it deserves permanent full funding. In light of their trip, Maite Arce, Hispanic Access Foundation’s president and CEO, released the following statement encouraging Congress to take heed:
“From the smallest to the largest of Latino communities, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been critical in providing all our nation’s diverse communities with what is often their main or only means to experience the outdoors. Whether it’s a local sports field, a community swimming pool or providing new trails, LWCF’s reach into our cities and towns is vital to the health and well-being of millions of Americans nationwide.
“I commend these community leaders for taking the time out of their lives to share their support and love for LWCF with our leaders in Washington. Americans of all stripes reap the benefits of these protected places, which help support local businesses and provide outdoor access and opportunities for hunters, fishermen, climbers, hikers, bikers, and campers across America.
“For the level of impact LWCF does have though, Congress continues to shortchange the program. This is why LWCF needs permanent and dedicated full funding. The Senate and the House overwhelmingly supported the permanent reauthorization of LWCF earlier this year, which reflects how important this program is to local communities. It’s time we start funding it that way.”
With overwhelming support Congress voted to permanently reauthorize LWCF – a program that’s protected more than 100 national battlefields and supported over 42,000 parks and recreation projects across the country, in addition to protecting more than 2.2 million acres of national parks. LWCF does not cost taxpayers a penny as it’s funded through royalties collected through offshore oil and gas drilling. However, Congress is responsible for allocating those royalties to the program and while its annual allocation is capped at a maximum of $900 million, Congress has only fully-funded twice within its 54 years of existence.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS:
• Juan “Andres” Almanza (Las Vegas, NV): Outreach Director, Centro de Adoración Familiar
• Jose Arvizu (Yuma, AZ): Associate Pastor, Betania Assembly of God Church
• Brenda Gallegos (Las Cruces, NM): Associate Director, Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks
• Chela Garcia (Denver, CO): Director, Conservation Programs, Hispanic Access Foundation
• Jessica Godinez (Golden, CO): Conservation Programs Associate, Hispanic Access Foundation
• Erica Hernandez (Denver, CO): microbiologist and Colorado Outings Leader, Latino Outdoors
• Evelyn Arredondo Ramirez (Bakersfield, CA): Programs Assistant, MANO Project
• Mayra Ramos (Oceanside, CA): recent graduate of Latin American Bible Institute
• Maricela Rosales (Los Angeles, CA): Brands and Advocacy Coordinator, Latino Outdoors
United Nations Climate Report Emphasizes the Need for Action, Underscores Disproportionate Impact Felt by Latinos in the U.S.
Today, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its first ever stand-alone report regarding oceans and cryosphere, portions of the Earth’s surface where water is in solid form. In response to the report, which underscores that we will need to adapt to changes we can no longer avoid and act immediately to prevent catastrophic changes, Hispanic Access Foundation President and CEO Maite Arce released the following statement:
“Our oceans are what make life possible on Earth. From absorbing heat and carbon dioxide to providing a system responsible for the majority of oxygen we breathe; oceans are critical to communities throughout the nation and the world. However, the ocean and cryosphere is reaching a breaking point, in which the impacts of climate change will become irreversible and the future for millions of people whose livelihoods and communities depend on these resources is uncertain.
“While Latinos in the United States are disproportionately experiencing the effects of climate change, the warming of our oceans, and the intensification and increased frequency of extreme weather events, if we don’t act urgently now, we are risking the lives and stability of millions of people across the globe.
“The decline of snowpack from rising global temperatures is not only leading to drought, dwindling water supplies and disruptions in agricultural production, but it is also contributing to a more arid climate and drier vegetation creating ideal conditions for the unprecedented levels of wildfires occurring in our western states. The warming of Earth’s oceans is leading to more and more hurricanes and extreme weather that is debilitating communities - from housing availability, transportation and utility infrastructure to health services, tourism, jobs and economic security.
“We need action now that results in a substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, protection of the ocean’s ability to mitigate climate change and the implementation of adaptation strategies that will increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change.”
Since its founding in 2010, HAF has nurtured the Latino community’s strong connection to the natural environment by designing programs for Latino families and youth to engage in outdoor experiences, including camping, whitewater rafting, and hiking in National Parks and areas under consideration for National Monument designation. HAF shepherded the groundbreaking formation of Por La Creación Faith-Based Alliance, a coalition of Latino faith leaders dedicated to developing stewards of God’s creation by engaging and educating this generation to leave a legacy for the future. HAF’s initiative Latino Conservation Week was celebrated with more than 160 events nationally designed to engage Latinos with the outdoors and encourage their roles as environmental stewards.
Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, which expanded the types of waterways that can receive federal protections under the Clean Water Act.
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NOAA and HAF Hold Whale Watch Tour at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary for Latino Families in Celebration of Latino Conservation Week
On Saturday, July 13, Hispanic Access Foundation and Lawrence-based Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, in partnership with NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, held a humpback whale watching tour for 84 church members and students from Lawrence Public Schools.
Being outside has historically been a part of Latino culture for generations. While Latinos are not always represented in mainstream conservation groups and movements, groups around the state and the nation are working to change that.
The Section 106 Process: Understanding How Appendix C of the BLM-SHPO Protocol Plays Out On The Ground
At the Bureau of Land Management New Mexico State Office, I have been learning a great deal about what it takes to manage our public lands from the perspective of a Cultural Resources Specialist.
While parks dot the urban and rural landscapes of Arizona, the critical connections these places have to the Land and Water Conservation Fund may not be as clear.
Held on April 4, 2019, this webinar explored issues around public lands, water and climate, and identifies the health, economic and cultural impact on Latino communities.
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Land, Water y Comunidad explores the relationship Latinos across the nation have with Land and Water Conservation Fund sites – what it means to them, how they enjoy them and the impact it would have if these lands weren’t available.