2023 Governor’s Budget Highlights Strong Support for Conservation Trust Funds

Thank you to Governor Cooper for your strong support of the North Carolina Conservation Trust Funds in your 2023 annual budget. Highlights include:

  • Increases North Carolina Land and Water Fund (NCLWF) and Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) recurring funds by $5.8M, bringing both funds up to $30M recurring
  • Adds an additional $25M in nonrecurring funds per trust fund per year
  • Adds a position for NCLWF
  • $25M nonrecurring for Great Trails State Fund
  • $5M to NCLWF for Flood Risk Reduction
  • $5M to NCLWF for Peatlands and Pocosin Restoration
  • For Farmland Preservation, a $2.5M increase in recurring funds, and an additional $20M in nonrecurring funds in the first year
  • In the capital budget, there are also funds for a few specific Parks projects

Read more about his commitment to protecting our natural resources:

2023 Budget Recommendations: https://www.osbm.nc.gov/budget/governors-budget-recommendations

Now Is The Time To Invest In Conservation For North Carolina

While this global pandemic has hit all nations and all our US states hard, there is no denying the outdoors have served as a getaway to relieve people from isolation.

In the midst of quarantine, trails at local and state parks have seen a dramatic increase in visitation from North Carolinians trying to get outside for some fresh air. Through these visits, it’s been clear that open spaces have been important for people to maintain their health and bridge the gap to a good quality of life during a time of great uncertainty.

As the North Carolina legislator prepares to go into session, the Land for Tomorrow coalition urges state lawmakers to maintain reliable funding for the state’s conservation trust funds in this upcoming fiscal year. The continued investment for these funds will not only protect our state’s natural resources but it will also invest in the well-being of all North Carolinians and help rebuild our local and recreational economies. By doing so, North Carolina can continue to establish itself as a great place for our residents to work, live, and play – as well as provide economic opportunity for those in the recreational industry.

Here are The Land for Tomorrow Coalition’s legislative priorities for the NC legislator for FY20-21:

  • $19,657,529 for Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) 

This amount reflects a $13,157,530 base budget + $4,500,000 in new recurring funds + $1,999,999 in nonrecurring funds. 

  • $19,642,884 million per year for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) 

This amount reflects a $16,242,884 base budget + $1,400,000 in new recurring funds + $2,000,000 in nonrecurring funds. 

  • $7,800,000 for the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund 

This amount reflects a $4,300,000 base budget + $3,500,000 in nonrecurring funds. 

We look forward to the upcoming session and working with members of the General Assembly to establish a budget that continues to invest in conservation and North Carolina’s constituents.

 

Protecting North Carolina’s Fall Splendor

Cooler temperatures mean North Carolinians can finally get outside and safely enjoy the glory of this 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 N.C. Land and Water Fund (NCLWF), 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 socially distanced fall hike at one of these splendid getaways:

Mountains

Foothills

Piedmont

Triangle

Coast

Charlotte

12/18 — Senate Bill 821 (Sunset Unconstitutional Boards and Commissions)

SITUATION:

We’re working to OPPOSE Senate Bill 821 (Sunset Unconstitutional Boards and Commissions). This bill is damaging to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund because:

  • While the six boards and commissions listed in the bill were recently found unconstitutional, this bill does not fix the problem.
  • Conservation groups will be hesitant to start new conservation projects without knowing that there will be boards in place next year,
  • The appropriations committees will be reluctant to appropriate funds to these trust funds with this cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.

SOLUTION:

Our request is that legislators fix these boards as soon as possible.  The language in House Bill 1120 (Reconstitute Various Boards and Commissions) would provide an immediate fix to these boards and would allow CWMTF and PARTF to continue their important work.

SAMPLE EMAIL:

Dear Representative,

I’m reaching back out to you regarding the various pieces of legislation that would sunset six different boards and commissions, including the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.  As you know, those two trust funds are absolutely critical to the work that we do in our part of the state.  These trust funds have enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support over the last few legislative sessions, and have in fact received increases almost every year for the last six years thanks to support from members like you.

It is my understanding that Senate Bill 821 (Sunset Unconstitutional Boards and Commissions) is currently being considered by the North Carolina House of Representatives.  I respectfully request that you oppose this piece of legislation.  While the six boards and commissions listed in the bill were recently found unconstitutional, this bill does not fix the problem, and instead it kicks the can down the road.  I’m concerned that not fixing these boards now will create a chilling effect on the important work of these trust funds.  Conservation groups like ours will be hesitant to start new conservation projects without knowing that there will be boards in place next year, and I’m concerned that your appropriations committees will be reluctant to appropriate funds to these trust funds with this cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.  For those reasons, I would request that you fix these boards as soon as possible.  The language in House Bill 1120 (Reconstitute Various Boards and Commissions) would provide an immediate fix to these boards and would allow CWMTF and PARTF to continue their important work.

I appreciate your ongoing support for conservation, and for the reasons stated above, I hope that you will oppose S821, and instead pass the language in H1120 so that the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and Parks and Recreation Trust Fund can continue their important conservation work across our state.

SAMPLE SOCIAL:

  • #NCGA please OPPOSE NCSB 821 — Sunset Unconstitutional Boards and Commissions. This bill is damaging to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund that protect North Carolina’s beautiful spaces, clean water and clean air.#ncpol
  • #NCGA please support House Bill 1120 — Reconstitute Various Boards and Commissions —  to immediate fix to the conservation trust boards and would these funds to continue their important work. #ncpol

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/