Conservation Ballot Measures Preserve Highlands Wilderness

A recent poll by the LWCF Coalition found that despite the nation’s recent economic woes, an overwhelming 88% of Americans support conservation funding initiatives. They are right to favor these measures- open space funding adds billions of dollars to the economy through revenue created by outdoor recreation, in addition to ensuring the future generation’s ability to enjoy our forests, streams, and fields.

Funding for conservation can come from many sources, including private land trusts, state programs like Growing Greener, and federal programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Forest Legacy Program, and the Highlands Conservation Act. It can also come from county and local ballot measures. Conservation funding ballot measures are very popular in the four-state Highland Region. Pennsylvanians in particular favor conservation funding measures at the polls, passing 81% of conservation funding proposals.

On Tuesday, Lower Saucon Township in Northampton County celebrated the approval of one such proposal in the polls by 57%, voting to extend the Earned Income Tax Open Space Fund originally created in 2006. The revenue generated will go towards conserving open space, as well as historical and recreational resources. This is fantastic news for outdoor enthusiasts, as Lower Saucon Township is home to portions of the Saucon Rail Trail, the Saucon Creek, and makes up some of the easternmost sections of the Pennsylvania Highlands.

To learn more about other conservation funding efforts here and across the nation, as well as view data on polling and trends, visit Highlands Coalition member organization the Trust for Public Land.

Labels: ,