The following documents key points in discussions of the EPF during budget negotiations for fiscal year 2010-11.
May 28, 2010: Deal Cuts EPF to Keep State Parks Open
On the eve of the Memorial Day weekend kick-off to the unofficial summer season, legislators and the governor, under intense public pressure to keep state parks open, announced a deal to do just that.
State Parks will get the $11 million needed to keep them open. That's the good news, and it was achieved by thousands of citizens-including Trail Conference members-- telling their representatives to protect our parks.
The bad news is that in exchange, the Environmental Protection Fund, which pays for land, water, and air protection measures across the state, will be reduced to $134 million from the $222 million it was at in 2009/10. This disproportionately large cut of almost 40% comes on top of the nearly $500 million that has been swept from the EPF in recent years, and which has created a significant backlog of unfunded projects, straining organizations, municipalities and others partnering with the state on environmental programs.
The Trail Conference supports State Parks AND the EPF and we will continue to do so. We welcome and thank you for your continued support.
May 24, 2010: Gutting the Environment to Save Parks?
Today, the Trail Conference signed on to a letter from Friends of New York's Environment to Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the NY Assembly, and John Sampson, Majority Conference Leader in the State Senate.
The letter--signed by more than 100 environmental organizations across New York--urges legislators to continue their defense of a strong Environmental Protection Fund in the face of a new attack by Governor Paterson. The Governor proposes a new raid of these funds--on top of ones he has proposed earlier--in order to reopen 41 parks and 14 state historic sites that he has already ordered closed.
Our pressure to keep parks open is having an effect, but the Governor's funding proposal is a bad idea and a terrible precedent.
Please urge your legislators to defend funding for BOTH the EPF AND STATE PARKS. CALL YOUR SENATOR AND YOUR ASSEMBLYMEMBER. Tell them that their budget resolutions provided a more sensible solution, and urge them to move forward with budget negotiations and OPPOSE this legislation.
Ask them to speak in conference and oppose moving this bill to the floor. Rather, urge them to move forward with budget negotiations where the EPF and state parks funding can be decided in the proper context.---------------------
May 11, 2010: Keep Calling to Support the EPF
- Call Senate Leader John Sampson at (518) 455-2788
- Call Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at (518) 455-3791
Urge them to restore the EPF to $222 million in the state budget.
April 15, 2010: Earth Day Is Coming and Now Is a Good Time to Support the EPF with a letter to your local editor. Friends of New York's Environment makes it easy. Just click here. We offer some possible Talking Points below (after the news links).
March 2010: NYS Comptroller Reports on Economic Benefits of Open Space Preservation Click here for his report (PDF)
March 25, 2010: EPF Call-in Day
Click here for details.
March 10, 2010: Trail Conference Joins 'We Love New York' Campaign
The campaign asks state leaders to demonstrate their love for New York by supporting the Environmental Protection Fund.The groups believe the governor's proposed budget cuts are unfair and irresponsibly harsh on environmental programs that protect public health and safety. Click here to download our complete press release.
March 4, 2010: EPF Support Letter Circulated by Chairman Thompson
Senator Thompson, Chairman of the State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, is circulating a sign-on letter in support of full funding for the EPF. Urge your State Senator to sign on to the letter. Click here to find your state senator. Click here to download Senator Thompson's letter, and click here to download the sign-on letter.
February 19, 2010
The governor proposes to offload some funding for state parks and other programs into the EPF, further diluting the Fund's effectiveness. Learn more here.
November 25, 2009
Albany Lawmakers Consider "Leave No Open Space" Policy