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Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Strongly Opposes Bill Reallocating Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund
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On May 4, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a national coalition of 60 hunting, angling, conservation, and outdoor industry organizations, expressed their strong opposition to legislation-- House Bill 2004--  to reallocate monies in the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund at a time when it would disrupt a conservation program with a proven record of success.

“The Keystone Fund has a 26 year track record of helping to power Pennsylvania’s $29.1 billion dollar outdoor recreation economy through projects that restore our parks and conserve our natural resources that includes our fish & wildlife,” said Derek Eberly, Pennsylvania Field Representative For TRCP.

The letter said-- "By helping to conserve and restore our public lands, the Keystone Fund helps to power our outdoor economy by ensuring Pennsylvanians can pursue their hunting and fishing passions.

"The outdoor recreation economy is a critical part of Pennsylvania’s economy, and a 2018 study by our organization found that Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation economy supports more than 390,000 jobs, generating $800 million in salaries and wages and bringing in more than $300 million in local, state, and federal tax revenue.

"During this unprecedented time of crisis, we encourage you to acknowledge the increasingly important role the outdoors continues to play in our physical and mental well-being as well as the health of our economy by opposing H.B.2004. Allow the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund to continue to provide the jobs and investments that benefit us all.”

The text of the letter follows--

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a national coalition of 60 hunting, angling, conservation, and outdoor industry organizations that seeks to ensure all Americans have access to quality places to hunt and fish. We have thousands of members in Pennsylvania and we strongly oppose H.B. 2004.

H.B. 2004 would allow funding for the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Keystone Fund) to be redirected for other purposes. This would severely disrupt a conservation program with a proven record of success.

Since 1993, the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund has provided over $570 million in project funding, which has helped conserve more than 172,000 acres of land.

These projects improve state game lands, forests, and parks across the commonwealth and employ the services of Pennsylvania small businesses including general contractors, excavators, and designers.

Projects funded by the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund directly improve the quality of Pennsylvania’s hunting and fishing opportunities by funding the conservation and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat.

Additionally, Keystone Fund dollars often serve as the state-level match for many federal programs, meaning Pennsylvania may lose out on critical federal funding if H.B. 2004 is signed into law.

By helping to conserve and restore our public lands, the Keystone Fund helps to power our outdoor economy by ensuring Pennsylvanians can pursue their hunting and fishing passions.

The outdoor recreation economy is a critical part of Pennsylvania’s economy, and a 2018 study by our organization found that Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation economy supports more than 390,000 jobs, generating $800 million in salaries and wages and bringing in more than $300 million in local, state, and federal tax revenue.

During this unprecedented time of crisis, we encourage you to acknowledge the increasingly important role the outdoors continues to play in our physical and mental well-being as well as the health of our economy by opposing H.B.2004.

Allow the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund to continue to provide the jobs and investments that benefit us all.

Signed,

Derek Eberly, Pennsylvania Field Representative

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Republicans on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted to report out House Bill 2004 and it now goes to the full House for action.  Read more here.

[Editor’s Note: $172 Million Just Sitting There: The Senate and House are still sitting on a $172 million surplus in their own operating accounts, but they don’t seem ready to repurpose the money to help taxpayers and real people during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more here.

[Sacrifice is good… for other people in their view, apparently.

[Click Here to read more about "legislative privilege" and hiding how the General Assembly spends taxpayer money.

[3 Front War On The Environment

[House Bill 2004 is part of a sustained attack on the environment by Conservative Republicans who have been fighting a three front war on environmental programs and funding for the last decade--

-- Starving environmental agencies for funding so they have to cut staff and programs and then turn around and say they can’t do their job [they’ve successfully done that];

-- Adding even more layers of bureaucracy and procedures to block environmental regulations, reduce environmental standards and give regulated entities more control over these programs; and

-- Using every chance they get to cut funding to support community-based projects to protect and restore the environment, improve recreation opportunities and land conservation efforts that real people-- voters-- overwhelmingly support [they’ve successfully done that].

[So far the strategy is working.

[These are the latest attempts, but they won’t be the last.]

Related Articles:

-- Editorial: Bad Timing For Harrisburg’s Anti-Environment Efforts [PaEN]

-- Analysis: Where Did The $2.93 Billion In Environmental Funding The General Assembly Diverted Or Cut Go?

-- Analysis: 2020 Is A Make Or Break Year For Environmental Funding

-- Senate, House Republicans STILL Sitting On $172 Million Surplus In Their Own Legislative Accounts Instead Of Helping With COVID-19 Response

-- Op-Ed: State Government Is Ignoring Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Right To A Clean Environment For Generations Yet To Come - Ron Evans, PA Environmental Defense Foundation

-- Op-Ed: My Fellow Conservatives Are Out Of Touch On The Environment - Fmr. Gov. Tom Ridge

Related Articles - House Bill 2004:

House Republicans Report Out Bill To Reallocate Keystone Fund That Threatens Vitality Of PA’s Outdoor Economy At A Critical Time For Small Businesses

PA Parks & Forests Foundation Opposes Effort To Reallocate Keystone Recreation Fund Monies At A Time Recreation Facilities Needed Most

Learn More About $1 Billion State Parks, Forests Maintenance, Infrastructure Backlog At New Website; Then Take Action

PA Environmental Council Opposes Bill To Reallocate Keystone Fund That Threatens Vitality Of PA’s Outdoor Economy

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Strongly Opposes Bill Reallocating Keystone Recreation, Park & Conservation Fund

Related Articles - House Bill 1822:

-- House Republicans Pass Bill To Freeze Funding For County Conservation Districts, Local Parks, Farm Conservation, Watershed Restoration Projects; Will Hurt Local Economies

-- 11 PA Fishing, Hunting Groups Urge Lawmakers To Oppose Freeze On Local Farm Conservation, Environmental Restoration Project Funding

-- Lancaster Clean Water Partners: Proposed Environmental Funding Freeze Would Be ‘Devastating’ To Lancaster’s Economy, Clean Water Efforts

-- PA Conservation District Assn.: House Republican Effort To Freeze Funding For County Conservation Districts Will Shut Them Down, Hurt Local Economies

-- May 3-9 County Conservation Districts Week Overshadowed By Lawmaker Efforts To Freeze, Shutdown Conservation District Funds

-- PA State Grange Farm Organization Opposes Proposed Freeze On Conservation District, Local Farm, Restoration Project Funding

-- PA Land Trust Assn. Says House Republican Effort To Prohibit State Expenditures On Conservation Districts, Local Conservation Projects 'Insanity'

-- PA Recreation & Park Society Opposes Republican Efforts To Freeze Funding For Local Park, Recreation, Conservation Projects

-- PA Parks & Forests Foundation Urges Lawmakers To Oppose Freeze On Recreation, Conservation Funding Addressing Imminent Health Threats, Help Economy Recover

-- PA Environmental Council: Almost All Funds Targeted By Republican Freeze Support Local Environmental, Conservation Efforts

--- PA Municipal Authorities Assn, 19 Waste Authorities Oppose Proposed Freeze On Recycling Funding

[Posted: May 5, 2020]


5/11/2020

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