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Thank You for Helping to Make History for Environmental Protection in New York State
Source:New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
The 2016-2017 New York State budget shows a level of commitment to open space protection unlike any we’ve ever seen. The Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) has received a historic level of fundingat $300 million—nearly double what was dedicated to conservation efforts and environmental resources last year.
Securing these funds didn’t happen overnight. It took perseverance on the part of people like you. You joined the Trail Conference in Albany to sit down with elected officials and discuss the importance of open space. You called and wrote to your representatives, urging them to make New York State a forward-thinking leader in environmental conservation. And in response to a last-minute call to action, you helped defeat potentially damaging legislation within the budget that would have opened state lands to ATVs. Thanks to you, organizations such as the Trail Conference will receive support to further our mission in ways never before possible.
It is with this patience and persistence that we will continue our efforts to ensure future budgets include a line dedicating funds to the Catskill Region. Though the Catskills did not receive the $4 million we hoped to see earmarked in this year’s budget, we are optimistic that a portion of the $300 million EPF will go toward building a modern Catskill Park.
The Catskill Park Coalition—of which the Trail Conference is a founding member—is now stronger than ever. Through our push for a dedicated Catskills budget, we not only raised awareness of the incredible natural resources and opportunity that exists within this region, we also gained the attention of government leaders who can rally bipartisan support. Last year, State Senators James L. Seward and George Amedore were able to secure $500,000 for the Catskill Park as part of the Aid to Localities budget in the EPF. Our goal now is to work with our supporters in the Senate and Assembly to discover even further opportunities that can benefit the Catskills in the new EPF.
With your help, we will continue to grow state support that protects our environment and strengthens our ability to Connect People with Nature.