Land for Tomorrow, a statewide coalition of community leaders, conservation and wildlife organizations, and parks and recreational advocates that works to increase land and water conservation in North Carolina, is praising the Senate’s budget, which was released last night.
“Investment at this level would be a major step forward for land and water conservation in North Carolina,” said Bill Holman, NC State Director of The Conservation Fund and chair of the Coalition. “The Senate has recognized the important role that land and water conservation play in our economic and public health. The pandemic showed that people really wanted to get outside; they need more public spaces. And, we also know that spending on public lands boosts the state and local economy.”
Tim Gestwicki, Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and Land for Tomorrow Board Member says that the need was made clear during the last 15 months. “Fishing licenses increased 94 percent from May 2020 to December 2020,” he says. “Hunting licenses increased by 20 percent. These additional funds can help grow state game lands, particularly in the Piedmont where there is a serious need.”
Funding for State Conservation Funds:
- Land and Water Fund
- Additional $60 million NR in FY21-22. Brings total to $73.2 million for the year.
- Additional $40 million NR in FY22-23. Brings total to $53.2 million for the year.
- Parks and Recreation Trust Fund
- Additional $60 million NR in FY21-22. Brings total to $76.2 million for the year.
- Additional $40 million NR in FY22-23. Brings total to $56.2 million for the year.
- Farmland Preservation Trust Fund
- Additional $35 million NR in FY21-22. Brings total to $39.3 million for the year.
- Additional $20 million NR in FY21-22. Brings total to $24.3 million for the year.
In addition to significant funding for the State’s Conservation Trust Funds, the budget also includes:
- $40 million NR for State Parks Water and Sewer Projects in FY21-22
- $9 million NR in FY21-22 and $3.2 million NR in FY22-23 for Pisgah View State Park
- $15 million NR in FY21-22 for State Historic Sites