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Governor McCrory’s Budget Proposal For Conservation Funding

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory released his proposed budget Wednesday, March 20. It includes significant cuts in spending for the state’s land and water conservation trust funds. The creation and consistent funding of North Carolina’s conservation trust funds have been the result of bipartisan leadership over the past 25 years. These land protection successes have played a major role in the state’s economy –  boosting agriculture, the military, tourism, forestry, hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.

Summary of Governor McCrory’s cuts to conservation funding:

  • Cuts the Clean Water  Management Trust Fund to $6.75 million from $10.75 million, which is a 37  percent cut, and only provides funding for the first year of the biennium
  • Reduces the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to $15.5 million from $27.5 million, which is a projected 44 percent cut. And, it reduces the Natural Heritage Trust Fund (NHTF) to $4.23 million from $9.9 million, which is a projected 58 percent cut.
  • Removes the dedicated source of funding for PARTF and NHTF over the state’s next budget cycle and leaves the state with no reliable way to conserve treasured lands in the future.
  • Maintains the current funding level of $1.7 million per year for the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

The next step in the budget process is for the state Senate to begin writing its version of the budget. We are committed to working to increase efforts with land trusts and conservation organizations statewide to encourage lawmakers to boost funding levels for these important trust funds. Click the link to see his full budget recommendations: http://osbm.nc.gov/thebudget

(Source:  adapted from a Land for Tomorrow correspondence)