Protecting North Carolina’s Fall Splendor

Cooler temperatures mean North Carolinians can finally get outside to enjoy the glory of fall leafing season.

Each of the following locations are protected and open to visitors thanks to the hard work of local organizations and North Carolina’s conservation trust funds – the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and/or the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF). The conservation trust funds help ensure that we all have access to clean air, clean water and spectacular places to recreate and relax.

Plan your next fall hike at one of these glorious getaways:

Mountains

Foothills

Piedmont

Coast

Cooper’s Budget Makes Strong Commitment to Land and Water Conservation

The Land for Tomorrow coalition praised Gov. Cooper’s proposed budget, which increases appropriations to the state’s conservation trust funds and provides additional personnel for the state park system.

“Land and water conservation are important to North Carolina’s economy,” said Bill Holman, NC State Director for the Conservation Fund and chair of the Land for Tomorrow Executive Committee.  “Tourism, agriculture, and the military are all dependent on land and water conservation. That’s the reason that conservation has always been supported by both sides of the aisle. This is a good beginning; we look forward to working with the N.C. General Assembly on a final budget that supports conservation.”

Gov. Cooper’s budget:

  • Increases recurring appropriations to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) by $6.8 million and a one-time appropriation of $5 million. CWMTF’s 2019 total appropriation would be $25 million.
  • Increases recurring appropriations to the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) by $3.7 million and a one-time appropriation of $5 million. PARTF’s 2019 total appropriation would be $25 million.

The governor’s budget recommends $1.75 million to hire additional park staff who will work at new park facilities that were funded by Connect NC Bonds that were approved by North Carolina voters three years ago. It also recommends several additional trail projects and a continued partnership with Conservation Corps in the state park system.

Land for Tomorrow is a statewide coalition of community leaders, conservation, and wildlife organizations, and parks and recreation advocates with a common goal: increasing land and water conservation in North Carolina.

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RELEASE: March 7, 2019 

Media Contact: Debbie Crane (919) 794-4373 

Brand New Look for Land for Tomorrow

Land for Tomorrow revealed a new logo and website to prepare for the upcoming legislative session.

The new branding will position the coalition to work with both parties towards bipartisan collaboration so all can successfully meet North Carolina’s conservation needs.

The new logo depicts the land that conservation trust funds work so hard to protect. From the mountains to the sea and all the beautiful farm land in-between, Land for Tomorrow has worked to increase conservation efforts since 2003. The coalition works to ensure that the state’s conservation trust funds – Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) – are well funded.

The new website – land4tomorrow.org – will continue to grow to house useful and up-to-date content to help legislators and their aids see the value in the state’s conservation trust funds. There are also ways for concerned citizens to better understand the importance of the conservation trust funds and how to get involved.

The coalition would like to thank all who contributed to the successful launch of this website and rebrand.

Visit our About Us page to learn more about the conservation trust funds: http://www.land4tomorrow.org/about/

Land for Tomorrow Urges Increased Conservation Funding Following Release of SB 257, Appropriations Act of 2017

Land for Tomorrow thanks the General Assembly for continuing to fund the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Parks & Recreation Trust Fund, and Agricultural Development & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund in the Appropriations Act of 2017.

However, Land for Tomorrow is concerned that in a year of budget surplus, the General Assembly is appropriating fewer dollars for conservation, which more than 70 percent of North Carolinians broadly support.

The Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) and Parks & Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) are both appropriated fewer dollars in 2017 than in 2016. While the budget does increase funding for the Agricultural Development & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, the funding levels are inadequate to match US Department of Defense funds to protect our military bases from encroachment and to match US Department of Agriculture funds to protect and restore farmland in Western North Carolina and the Piedmont, where development pressures are the greatest.

  • The General Assembly appropriated $22.4 million to CWMTF in 2016-17 and is appropriating $18.3 million in 2017-18 (a 18% decrease).
  • The General Assembly appropriated $22.7 million to PARTF in 2016-17 and $19.7 million in 2017-18 (a 13% decrease).

Land for Tomorrow will continue to work with legislative leaders to protect and restore water quality, preserve family farms that produce local and fresh food, to maintain the training mission of our military bases, and to support the $28 billion outdoor recreation industry in NC.

135 local governments, conservation organizations, and state agencies requested nearly $68 million from CWMTF in 2017. Those organizations would provide almost $165 million in matching funds, more than doubling the state’s investment. Sixty-four local governments requested $19 million from PARTF in 2017 and provided $51 million in matching funds, matched nearly three times.

Earlier this year, the US Department of Defense awarded NC a nearly $10 million Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Challenge Grant. The State has to match these funds dollar for dollar or they cannot be used in North Carolina.

Also earlier this year the US Department of Agriculture awarded Blue Ridge Forever, a coalition of the 10 land trusts in Western North Carolina, $8 million to protect and restore farmland in Western North Carolina. These funds must also be matched by state and private funds.

Land for Tomorrow will continue to work with legislators in the 2018 Short Session to improve funding levels for the trust funds to adequately meet the demand of conservation projects that benefit North Carolina communities and citizens.

Post date: June 21, 2017

Land for Tomorrow Coalition Gathers Local Legislators for Legislative Forum

Conservation Organizations Highlighted the Economic Benefits of State Funding

RALEIGH –Land for Tomorrow recently gathered members of the NC General Assembly for a legislative forum to highlight the economic benefits of state conservation funding for the mid-coastal region. The region’s major economic assets – agriculture, the military, tourism, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation – all depend on land and water conservation.

North Carolina’s conservation trust funds – the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF)Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), and Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund – have invested $184 million in Jones, Carteret, Craven, Pender, and Onslow County projects that support economic development and preserve the region’s unique natural features.

Senator Harry Brown, Representative Phil Shepard, and Representative Bob Muller attended the event to hear from local conservation organizations, park and recreation supporters, and landowners who partner with the trust funds to do projects that benefit the region. NC Coastal Land Trust Point showcased purchasing farmland easements to conserve the family-owned Guthrie Farm and provide a buffer for the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point. The Nature Conservancy shared how its partnership with the Marine Corps conserved more than 44,000 acres around Camp Lejeune. State Park officials talked about the state’s investment of nearly $6.3 million at Hammocks Beach State Park.

Former State Representative Carolyn Justice moderated the forum – noting that land and water conservation is good for all North Carolinians. “What is more important to our quality of life than clean drinking water, clean air, thriving farms and forests, places to hunt, fish, and view wildlife, while still being conspicuous of jobs and a sustainable economy,” she asked.

“Land for Tomorrow appreciates the support these legislators have shown for conservation projects, but the demand for great projects exceeds available resources,” said Edgar Miller, Conservation Trust for North Carolina Government Relations Director. “The goal of these round tables is to educate legislators on the importance of these funds of and how conservation projects benefit coastal communities, the local economy and their citizens.”

Some of the issues highlighted at the round table included:

  • More than 70 percent of North Carolinians broadly support restoring state funding for the conservation trust funds to $100 million to protect water quality, conserve working farms, and acquire parkland and preserve historic sites.
  • Military buffers support North Carolina’s $66 billion economic impact of the military by preventing incompatible development.
  • 135 local governments, conservation organizations, and state agencies requested nearly $68 million from CWMTF in 2017, with only about $20 million available.
  • Sixty-four local governments requested $19 million from PARTF in 2017, with only $6.3 available.

Land for Tomorrow will continue to work with legislative and community leaders across the state to protect and restore water quality, to maintain the training mission of our military bases, to preserve family farms that produce local and fresh food, and to support the $28 billion outdoor recreation industry in NC.

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Land for Tomorrow is a coalition of land and water conservation organizations, including American Rivers, Audubon NC, Catawba Lands Conservancy, Conservation Trust for NC, The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, NC Recreation & Park Association, Triangle Land Conservancy, and NC Wildlife Federation. The coalition’s goal is to boost public support for land and water conservation across North Carolina. The North Carolina General Assembly sets funding levels for the trust funds.

Post date: November 6, 2017

Proposed Increase to Land and Water Conservation Funding a Win for NC

The Land for Tomorrow coalition commends Governor Cooper for providing increased, reliable funding for land and water conservation in his recommended budget. Restoring a portion of the real estate conveyance tax to the state’s conservation trust funds as it was originally intended will help provide stable funding for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

The Governor’s budget proposal aligns very well with Land for Tomorrow’s goals to increase recurring appropriations and re-establish a dedicated revenue stream to stabilize the trust funds, by dedicating a portion of the state’s share of the deed stamp tax.

The dollars appropriated by the state and granted by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund are leveraged dollar for dollar to build a healthy and thriving economy for North Carolinians. Continuing to invest in the state’s conservation trust funds is critical to continuing to establish North Carolina as an exceptional place to work, live and raise a family.

The members of Land for Tomorrow commend the Governor’s recommendation to add an additional nonrecurring $10 Million to the ADFPTF to help the state match federal US Department of Agricultural and Department of Defense farmland preservation funding; and allocate 35 percent of the apportioned Deed Stamp Tax proceeds to CWMTF and PARTF and 15 percent to the ADFPT and NCHTF, equating to an additional $6.55M each to CWMTF and PARTF and $2.8 M to the ADFPTF in recurring revenues.

We look forward to the coming short session where we will work with members of the General Assembly to establish an amended budget that continues its support of strong investment in conservation in support of the agriculture, military, tourism, hunting and fishing, and a $37.6 billion outdoor recreation sector that supports 260,000 North Carolina jobs.

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Post date: May 10, 2018

General Assembly Budget Support for Land and Water Conservation Praised

The Land for Tomorrow coalition commends the Legislature for providing more than $22 million in additional funding for the state’s three conservation trust funds. These additional funds help keep the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund at level funding from recent years, which will enable conservation groups to continue to work with our state partners to protect the state’s valuable natural resources.

In addition, the significant increase to the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund will provide matching funds for two recent federal grants, including one that will help protect land around military bases from incompatible development, and another one that will help protect family farms in the North Carolina mountains.

“We appreciate the legislature’s support of these critical conservation trust funds,” said Bill Holman, Chairman of the Land for Tomorrow Legislative Committee. “We look forward to working with the legislature in future years to continue to increase funding for these trust funds.”

Land for Tomorrow is a coalition of conservation groups and parks and recreation advocates, who partner with the state and local governments and private landowners to conserve North Carolina’s land and water resources, preserve farmland, protect military bases, expand hunting and recreation opportunities, and sustain North Carolina’s economy.

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Post date: June 6, 2018