Ask Governor Malloy to Release Funding for Open Space!

Action Alert!
Funding Needed for DEEP Open Space Programs

Update as of July 2017:  Since we wrote this alert last summer, there has been NO CHANGE with respect to the allocation of bond funds!  Failure to release these previously authorized bond funds puts the state's Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program, Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program, and Recreational Trails Program, at risk!  

The date has changed ... but the message is the same!

"[Land conservation is] about the health of the entire state - its economy, its residents and its future."
Editorial, Hartford Courant, CT Preservation Isn't Just for the Birds" (7/19/16)

Last week, the Hartford Courant ran a terrific editorial making the case for investing in land conservation in Connecticut. It's definitely worth a read!  Go HERE for the full article.

If you share our concern about the future of land conservation in Connecticut, then NOW is the time to contact Governor Malloy and ask him to release bond funding for two critical DEEP programs:

1. Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Program (OSWA) - which provides grant funding to land trusts, towns and water companies to help acquire and permanently protect open space; and
 
2. Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program (RNHT) - which is the agency's primary vehicle for acquiring state lands for parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, water access and natural resource management areas.
While bonding was authorized for OSWA and RNHT in the last biennial budget, to date none of those funds have been allocated to the agency -- putting the future of both programs at risk.
Your Action is Needed!
Please contact Governor Malloy THIS WEEK and ask that he convene the State Bond Commission to authorize the release of funding for OSWA and RNHT to ensure that these critical programs continue.
Feel free to use these talking points:
  • Since 1998, the OSWA program has leveraged millions of matching municipal and private dollars resulting in funding for over 471 projects comprised of over 29,000 acres in more than 127 communities.
  • Considering recent raids on Community Investment Act funds, bonding is even more essential to the ongoing survival of the OSWA program and the ability of land trusts, towns and water companies to continue to plan for and pursue high caliber conservation projects throughout the state.
  • Funded exclusively by bonding, the RNHT program has enabled DEEP to conserve 78,000 acres of land since 1986.
  • Important: Describe projects in your own community that were funded through these programs and/or those that are in the queue for your organization or town that will need state open space grant funds in the future.
  • Without a consistent investment of sufficient bonding in these two programs, thousands of acres of land valuable for conservation, recreation and agriculture may be lost forever to development. 
  • Include the link to the July 19 Hartford Courant editorial, which makes the case for investing in land conservation.
Thank you for taking action and for all you continue to do to conserve, protect and forge connections with the landscapes that define our communities, build strong economies and enhance our quality of life. 
 
With best regards,
Amy
Amy Blaymore Paterson, Executive Director

P.S. Please be sure to copy your state legislators and CLCC on your note to the Governor. Thank you!

P.P.S.  View CLCC's letter to Governor Malloy HERE and also attached below.