Field Notes

Spring 2024

News from the Field: Wins Rippling Across the Region

Over the last few months, WRA helped achieve key wins across the region for our land, air, and water.


Over the last few months, WRA helped achieve key wins across the region for our land, air, and water.


Prohibiting nonfunctional turf to conserve water in Colorado 

New legislation in Colorado – SB 005: Prohibit Landscaping Practices for Water Conservation – fosters water-wise landscaping by prohibiting the use of nonfunctional turf, artificial turf, and invasive plant species on commercial, institutional, and industrial sites, as well as parking lots and medians. This measure builds upon the work of WRA in 2021 to establish a state-level fund for the voluntary replacement of water thirsty grass. By restricting water-intensive grasses on seldom-used spaces, the bill not only conserves a significant amount of water but also diminishes reliance on harmful pesticides and gas-powered lawn equipment. And it paves the way for native plants and local wildlife, such as birds and bees, to flourish. 


Securing historic funding for land conservation in New Mexico 

After leading the establishment of New Mexico’s first dedicated state fund for conservation, the Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund, during the 2023 legislative session, WRA set sights on ensuring the fund reached its full potential this year.  We exceeded expectations by securing a historic $300 million investment. The Legacy Fund is now poised to provide long-term support for land and water conservation, equitable access to outdoor recreation, and agricultural projects statewide. With the inaugural grants awarded this summer, these critical funds will improve lives and lands across New Mexico for generations to come.  


Electrifying medium and heavy-duty vehicles in Utah 

Building on successes in Nevada in 2023, WRA pursued similar legislation at the 2024 Utah Legislature with the Clean Truck Incentive Program – a bill to establish a grant program encouraging the adoption of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty (MHD) vehicles among Utah’s business and public fleets to help combat climate change and enhance air quality. When faced with implementation concerns, WRA brokered a deal directly with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Division of Air Quality to allocate a portion of the millions of dollars the state receives from the federally funded Carbon Reduction Program to support MHD incentives. This funding agreement is still subject to approval by the Utah Transportation Commission, but with expedited implementation likely, Utah residents should see tangible benefits in the near future. 

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Western Resource Advocates