ASLA’s 2017 Advocacy Highlights

In 2017, ASLA’s government affairs team, chapters, and grassroots advocates were extremely busy advancing key legislation and regulations on behalf of the profession.

On the federal side, ASLA continued its efforts to protect and preserve key transportation design and planning programs and policies, including the Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails programs, and to advance new policies, including a national Vision Zero policy. Water and stormwater management issues also continue to be of paramount concern. In 2017, ASLA worked with Senator Deb Fischer (NE) to help pass bipartisan legislation, the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act (S. 692), which would promote the use of green infrastructure projects in addressing stormwater, wastewater, and other water quality issues. ASLA will work with Congress to pass the House of Representatives’ version of the measure so that the bill may be signed into law and communities across the nation can implement more green infrastructure projects.

Unfortunately, throughout 2017, environmental and climate-change programs and policies important to landscape architects came under attack. ASLA advocates swung into action to challenge these attacks by sending 1,600 messages to Capitol Hill opposing legislation to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and sending a letter with 1,871 landscape architects’ and allied professionals’ signatures to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt opposing his efforts to rollback key environmental and climate change programs.

ASLA also fought against proposals to undermine our national parks and monuments and other federal lands. ASLA provided comments to the Department of Interior opposing proposals to increase entrance fees at 17 national parks, and on maintaining the boundaries of several national parks and monuments. ASLA also commented to the Bureau of Land Management, urging the agency to maintain the current moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling leases. ASLA also endorsed the National Park Service (NPS) Legacy Act, which would provide dedicated funding to completely eliminate the maintenance backlog at the NPS.

The year 2017 brought an unprecedented number of direct attacks and threats to occupational licensure as governors and state policy makers, with support from federal agencies, looked to reduce regulation and simplify business practices. A total of 17 states faced some form of licensing threat. However, thanks to the advocacy and lobbying efforts of ASLA chapters, with strong support from ASLA national, at the end of 2017 all states and the District of Columbia continue to license landscape architects. Additionally, in 2017 Alaska and Colorado successfully completed sunset reviews.

View more ASLA 2017 Advocacy Highlights HERE.

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