Action Alert: Oppose Conservation Funding Freeze in PA HB 1822
Pennsylvania House Bill 1822 (HB 1822) has been amended to place a freeze on conservation project funding in an effort to balance budgets in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, HB 1822 states that “no department, commission, agency, office or authority of the Governor or the Commonwealth shall enter into any contract which would require the expenditure of money from the” county Conservation District Fund, the Environmental Education Fund, the Environmental Stewardship Fund and the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.
While finding economic solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic is important, cutting funding to conservation and environmental projects is not the answer. Now, more than ever, Pennsylvanians need natural spaces and places to recreate, relax and recharge. The benefits of Pennsylvania’s natural spaces extend beyond the Commonwealth’s $26.9-billion outdoor recreation industry, though. According to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), “PA’s outdoor recreation sector support more than 390,000 jobs and almost $17 billion in salaries and wages, and their employees generate over $300 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue.”
The specific Funds impacted by HB 1822 have funded more than 6,000 projects in 25 years, conserving 190,000 acres of land and generating countless well-paying jobs in Pennsylvania, according to TRCP. The National Deer Alliance (NDA) outlines state and federal land management as one of its key focus areas. HB 1822 prohibits state funding of new conservation projects on both public and private lands. Not only is this unfortunate for Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreators, but it also directly and significantly impacts the Commonwealth’s wildlife, fish and other natural resources.
Join NDA in letting Pennsylvania lawmakers know that cutting funding to conservation and environmental projects is not the answer to solving economic hardships surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, Pennsylvanians need natural spaces and places to recreate, relax and recharge. Visit the NDA Grassroots Advocacy Center, where you can place your vote of opposition on the funding freeze and directly email your Pennsylvania lawmakers.