This year marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which provides resources for a host of critically important conservation and environmental programs. It pays for acquisition and maintenance of parkland and high value open spaces, farmland protection, protection of drinking water supplies, and the study and protection of sensitive ecological systems.
Columbia County has benefited from the EPF. The Fund supported the creation of the Borden’s Pond Conservation Area and the Round Ball Conservation Area, the extension the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, and numerous farmland protection projects. These projects protect the incredible scenic beauty of our region, create publically accessible trails, and support both the agricultural and tourist economy.
Despite the success of these important projects, the EPF has been cut by nearly 50% in recent years. Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to increase the EPF appropriation and his Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Executive Budget proposal includes a $19 million increase to the appropriation.
Wednesday, March 6th 10:00am – 4:00pm
The New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which provides resources for a host of critically important conservation and environmental programs, has been dramatically cut back in the last four years. The Governor and the legislature urgently need to hear from all New Yorkers who believe it is time to begin restoring the fund.The EPF pays for acquisition and maintenance of park land and high value open spaces, farmland protection, protection of drinking water supplies, and the study and protection of sensitive ecological systems. The Borden’s Pond Conservation Area, the Round Ball Conservation Area, and the Harlem Valley Rail Trail extension have been supported by EPF funds, as have numerous CLC farmland protection projects in prior years. CONTINUE READING
EPF funds have supported the Borden’s Pond Conservation Area
In June, the New York State Legislature passed a bill that will dedicate $56 million from the state’s most successful recycling program—our bottle deposit law—to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) in the coming years. This bill will help grow the EPF and benefit communities across New York.
New York collects more than $100 million from unclaimed bottle deposits every year. The pending EPF bill will ensure that some of these revenues are allocated to protect our parks, clean water, local farms, and zoos, provide funding for waterfront redevelopment and recycling programs, and create local jobs that boost New York’s economy. Now, we need Governor Cuomo to sign the legislation into law. CONTINUE READING
The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC), the Abode of the Message, John and Brenda Adams, the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth, Darrow School, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) are working on a project to permanently protect 1,310 acres of land in New Lebanon and Canaan. Potential funding cuts have put this wonderful opportunity in jeopardy. CLC is calling on area residents to contact their Federal representatives and tell them to support the Mount Lebanon Forest Legacy Project.
The project area consists of land in and around the Mount Lebanon Shaker Society National Historic Landmark and the adjacent Shaker Swamp. The land includes scenic beauty, important wildlife habitat, and historically significant sites. It also is a potential boost to both the local forestry and tourism economy. The project supports several goals of Canaan’s Strategic Plan and New Lebanon’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as goals articulated at the state and national level.
The Cardin/Cochran Amendment to the Transportation Reauthorization Bill provides funding to local communities for safe bicycle and pedestrian routes. The amendment to MAP-21 (S. 1813) restores funding for all alternative transportation under the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program through a competitive grant process. CONTINUE READING
Tell the U.S. Senate to restore the $1.3 million cut from the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) in New York State. Contact Senator Schumer (518.431.4070) and Senator Gillibrand (212.688.6262) and ask them to restore vital funding to the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Sign GrowNYC’s Petition at change.org.
The Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program enables me to sell fresh food to people who need it. It helps Columbia County Agriculture and it helps people in need.
David Rowley, Monkshood Nursery