Monday, July 16, 2007

Land for Tomorrow

Springer's Point Nature Preserve, Ocracoke Island, purchased with grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Land for Tomorrow is a broad partnership organized to protect North Carolina's natural and cultural resources: land, water, historic places. Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County are among the many cities, counties, and towns that have signed on to support its mission. The Fayetteville Observer calls Land for Tomorrow "a coalition representing just about everybody who drinks water, breathes air and enjoys looking at things other than brick and concrete."

This term, Land for Tomorrow is backing an ambitious, forward-thinking bill in the General Assembly: the Land and Water Conservation Act of 2007. This legislation would authorize a statewide bond referendum on spending $1 billion over the next five years to protect the state’s land and water resources. The House and Senate versions have been filed, but no action has been taken yet as the session draws to an end.

According to Land for Tomorrow, "Between 1987 and 1997 North Carolina lost more prime farmland than any other state except Ohio and Texas. And for the first time since the 1930's, the state is experiencing falling forest acreage." Moreover, the state's existing conservation trust funds (including the Clean Water Management Trust Fund) are unable to keep up with the need: only a little over a third of the grant applications can be funded.

Here's how to write your legislators to support this important bill.

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