Sustainability

Gray Wolves, Parks, And Conservation: The Big Environmental Wins Of The 2020 Election

Voters nationwide passed a bunch of environment and climate-friendly measures during the election.

Close-up of a Gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the snow at a wildlife park in northern Norway. | Getty Images
Close-up of a Gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the snow at a wildlife park in northern Norway. | Getty Images

U.S. voters made it clear that they cared about the environment during the 2020 election when they favored dozens of measures related to the climate crisis and conservation efforts. 

Below are some of the environmental ballot measures passed during the election that may have not gotten as much attention while voters were eagerly awaiting states to count ballots, so news outlets would declare a presidential victor. 

Measure From California

The voter-approved Proposition A authorizes that San Francisco city and county issue up to $487.5 million in bonds to support the safety and quality of parks, as well as housing facilities, shelters, and facilities for individuals experiencing homelessness and mental health issues.

Gray Wolves In Colorado

Voters in Colorado narrowly approved the ballot initiative Proposition 114 that would reintroduce gray wolves into the state, where National Geographic says people hunted the animals to extinction by the 1940s. The measure’s passage is historical, as it is the first time a state, rather than the federal government, has voted to reintroduce an animal to the ecosystem. 

Denver voters also approved Measure 2A, which will introduce an additional 0.25% sales tax to fund environmental and climate-related programs. Ballotpedia projects the tax will generate an estimated $40 million per year to fund environment and climate-friendly programs.

As part of the approved Ballot Issue 7A, property taxes for residents in the Colorado River Water Conservation District will increase to protect streams and improve water use.

Measures In Florida 

According to ABC, three Florida counties  — Volusia, Collier, and Manatee — will raise property taxes to pay for environmental programs.

Measure In Michigan 

Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal 1, which requires state officials to spend at least 20% of annual interest and earnings from the State Parks Endowment Fund on state park improvements.

Measure In Montana 

Montana, among other states, voted to legalize the use of recreational weed during the election with two initiatives. One of them, Initiative I-190, specifies that part of the taxes and fees generated from weed sales will benefit a number of state programs including conservation

According to The Trust for Public Land Action Fund voters nationwide approved nearly $3.7 billion in new funding for land conservation, parks, climate, and habitat.

President-elect Joe Biden has also prioritized climate change as one of the four issues he will immediately begin to tackle once he takes office in January.