Land for Tomorrow Praises Final 2016-2017 Budget Bill

Annual spending plan would significantly increase funding for conservation

Land for Tomorrow, a statewide coalition supporting public funding and tax incentives for land and water conservation, is praising legislative leaders for significantly increasing the state’s investment in land and water conservation. The final budget bill, which was released on Monday evening, contains significant funding increases for a number of conservation programs.

The final budget bill includes:

  • $8.6 million increase for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Combined with the $13.8 million the program was scheduled to get, the total appropriation for FY16-17 is $22.4 million.
  • $1 million increase for the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. Combined with the $2.6 million the program was scheduled to get, the total appropriation for FY16-17 is $3.6 million.
  • $314,726 (recurring) increase for the Natural Heritage Program. This fully restores a $300,000 cut to the program from the 2015 budget.  The revised net appropriation for the program is $764,726.
  • Maintains funding for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The 2015 budget contained a $10.4 million increase for PARTF for FY16-17, and this year’s budget retains that increase. The total appropriation for FY16-17 is $22.7 million.

Conservation advocates praised House and Senate budget writers for the additional appropriations.  “This budget demonstrates a level of support for conservation programs that we haven’t seen for a number of years,” said Will Morgan of The Nature Conservancy.  “We appreciate the support of the House and Senate appropriation chairs, especially Representatives Chuck McGrady and Nelson Dollar, as well as Senators Harry Brown and Brent Jackson.  These additional funds will allow nonprofit conservation groups to work hand-in-hand with state agencies to continue to protect streams, farms, forests, and parks across North Carolina.”

Land for Tomorrow is a coalition of conservation, agriculture, wildlife, hunting and fishing groups along with businesses, local governments and concerned citizens. Its goal is to increase public funding and tax incentives to boost land and water conservation. Funding for the trust funds is controlled by the North Carolina General Assembly.

 

Land for Tomorrow Releases 2016 Conservation Yearbook

In conjunction with its annual Lobby Day on May, 24 2016, Land for Tomorrow released its 2016 Conservation Yearbook, which tells the stories of some of our state’s “faces of conservation” and provides a county-by-county listing of successful conservation projects made possible by the state’s three conservation trust funds.

Conservation supporters from across North Carolina came to Raleigh to educate state legislators about how important land and water conservation are to our state’s health, economy, and quality of life.  Participants pushed for increased funding of the state’s three successful conservation trust funds. It’s an investment in the future!

Here are a few other publications addressing the work that we do.

Land and Water Conservation in NC

Conservation Trust Fund Fact Sheet

LAND FOR TOMORROW COMMENDS FINAL BUDGET

September 16, 2015

Land for Tomorrow commends the General Assembly for increasing funding for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), the Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), and the Agricultural Development & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF).  The budget includes over $17 million in additional funding for these three trust funds over the biennium, which is a substantial increase from recent years.  Investments in clean water, parks, farmland and forest protection are critical to our economy, health, quality of life, and to military readiness.  In particular, Land for Tomorrow commends Senator Harry Brown, Senator Brent Jackson, Representative Nelson Dollar, Representative Chuck McGrady, and Representative Pat McElraft for their leadership in advocating for additional conservation funding. We look forward to celebrating the centennial of our great system of state and local parks with the Governor, General Assembly and citizens of North Carolina in 2016 and beyond. *see breakdown of funding below

We also strongly support keeping the state’s natural resource and conservation programs, including State Parks, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program, together in one Department. We thank the General Assembly for including the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Natural Heritage Program in the new Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. We look forward to working with the leadership of the new Department to conserve and appreciate North Carolina’s natural and cultural treasures.

*The FY15-17 budget includes:

  • Clean Water Management Trust Fund
    • A base budget of $11,675,530
    • An additional $5 million (nonrecurring) in FY 15-16
    • An additional $1 million (recurring) in both years for military buffers
    • Total funding for the biennium: $38.7M
  • Parks and Recreation Trust Fund
    • A base budget of $13,000,000
    • An additional $190,924 (recurring) in FY15-16
    • An additional $4,427,007 (recurring) in FY16-17
    • An additional $6,000,00 (nonrecurring) in FY16-17
    • Total funding for biennium: $37.2 M
  • Funding for State Parks Centennial
    • $250,000 in FY15-16
    • $200,000 in FY16-17
  • Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund
    • An additional $1 million (recurring) in both years for military buffers
    • Total funding for the biennium: $5,216,752

 

 

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