That said, nature protection and restoration cannot be the only elements to America the Beautiful, or we risk
- unintended consequences negatively impacting communities of color, such as green gentrification, and
- missing out on the fullest range of benefits provided by nearby nature and clean water access, which range from job creation to improving education and public health to climate mitigation and resilience.
To prevent negative knock-on effects and harness the maximum benefits of investing in nearby nature, policymakers must also consider public and active transportation needs, affordable and dense housing, living wages, the border wall and immigration reform, and law enforcement reform as additional components necessary to creating meaningful equity and safety in the outdoors. In addition, lack of federal recognition of dozens of Tribal Nations impedes meaningful consultation, co-management, and enfranchisement of indigenous communities in the outdoors.
Therefore, a whole-of-government approach centering equity and BIPOC perspectives throughout the America the Beautiful initiative is necessary to design a deliberately inclusive program that accounts for the myriad ways in which communities of color are excluded from a safe, accessible, pollution-free outdoors that addresses environmental justice and meets community needs.