Spending Plan Puts Down an Incontrovertible Marker in Support of New York’s State Parks, Healthy Forests, and a Sustained Environmental Protection Fund
The Open Space Institute today commended Governor Andrew Cuomo for maintaining an unwavering commitment to improving New York’s state parks, protecting land for clean water, recreation and wildlife habitat, and supporting New York’s forests.
“While some national leaders have turned their backs on protecting public lands for public use and enjoyment, natural resource protection and habitat for wildlife, Governor Cuomo is ensuring that New York State is on the wise path of conservation and stewardship,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO.
The governor’s spending plan calls for maintaining the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) at the historic $300 million level. He also continues to fund improvements and upgrades to New York State Parks and leads the way in connecting smart land acquisition to clean water; expanded access to outdoor recreation; and healthier and safer communities. And, for the first time, the governor is calling for funds to support community forests and tax reforms that encourage the long-term protection of forests on privately-owned property.
“From maintaining the commitment to his NY Parks 2020 and Adventure NY initiatives and the EPF to his plans to encourage community forests and strengthen private forest ownership in a way that supports smart timber practices, recreation and natural resource protection, Governor Cuomo continues to distinguish himself as a national leader in protecting our precious natural resources and maintaining the special bond between the public and those entrusted to protect land already conserved by the state and that which should be.
“We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo, the Senate and the Assembly over the course of the next months to ensure that the final budget provides protections for New York’s public lands and encourages smart land conservation today and into the future,” concluded Elliman.