We endorse Initiative 1631
The Vashon-Maury Island Audubon board unanimously endorsed Initiative 1631 at our June meeting.
If approved by voters, I-1631 will reduce Washington’s carbon pollution by 50 million metric tons by 2050.
In addition, $250 million annually will be invested in projects to increase the resilience of our waters and forests to the impacts of climate change. This includes restoring and protecting estuaries, fisheries and marine shoreline habitats vital for birds to survive. It also includes programs to improve forest health and reduce vulnerability to changes in hydrology, insect infestation, wildfires, and drought. This is critical support that will protect important bird habitats now and in the future.
Why is I-1631 important for birds?
The National Audubon Society’s Birds and Climate Change Report details how rising temperatures influence the range of 588 North American bird species. The report concludes that 314 of those are threatened or endangered by climate change.
In Washington, 189 species of birds are at risk. During the past 50 years, more than 60 percent of wintering North American bird species have shifted their winter ranges northward. Soon, they may have nowhere left to go. To protect birds in a changing climate, we must reduce the carbon emissions responsible for climate change.
Why an initiative?
Earlier this year, Governor Inslee proposed a carbon fee system. The proposal passed out of committee in the Senate as SB 6203, but failed to pass the Legislature. Other climate-related bills also died in the Legislature.
After the legislative session ended, conservation advocates filed I-1631. The signature gathering effort was successful, and the measure will appear on the November ballot.
More information about the initiative
A news story from the Weekly explains key points about I-1631.
Barn Swallows photo by Jim Diers