Defenders of Wildlife, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit conservation group, has a good idea.
In a recent email, Defenders of Wildlife president Rodger Schlickeisen writes, "America could put nearly 60,000 people to work within 90-180 days by funding important conservation projects on public lands -- projects like restoring wetlands, reconnecting habitat across highways, removing invasive species, rehabilitating native forests and prairies, and making facilities and buildings on public lands more energy efficient."
Obama's "New Energy for America" plan calls for a $150 billion private-sector investment to create five million green jobs, saving more oil than is currently imported from Venezuela and the Middle East within ten years and the implementation of a cap-and-trade program.
In addition, Obama has outlined several avenues for job creation, such as a manufacturing investment in Michigan, an energy-focused youth jobs program and national infrastructure financing. But he hasn't touched on projects that help conservation efforts that can create jobs and protect public lands as well as imperiled wildlife like gray wolves, polar bears and Florida manatees (pictured).
"Projects like these," Schlickeisen says, "would have tangible benefits for imperiled wildlife, could keep local construction, electrical, landscape and other companies working throughout 2009 and would provide the next generation of workers with the skills they need to lead a green revolution in our economy."
- Sign a Defenders of Wildlife petition urging President-elect Obama and your U.S. representative and senators to help create jobs that will protect our wildlife and our environment
- EDITORIAL: Red States, Blue States, Green States (November 5, 2008)
- The Rise of the Green-Collar Worker (October 31, 2008)