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13 Hunting, Angler Groups Urge Senate, House Members, Gov. Wolf To Maintain Local Conservation Project Funding Critical To Stewardship Of Wildlife Resources, Public Lands
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On November 19, thirteen hunting and angler groups wrote to members of the House and Senate and Gov. Wolf asking them to maintain funding for local conservation projects that are critical to good stewardship of Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources and public lands.

“The undersigned organizations representing hundreds of thousands of hunters and anglers across the Commonwealth write to express our support for maintaining funding for the

Keystone Recreation Park & Conservation Fund and the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

As Pennsylvania’s original conservationists, our pursuits are directly tied to good stewardship of our public lands, our rivers and streams and our fish and wildlife. These special funds are crucial to ensuring quality opportunities for Pennsylvania’s hunters and anglers today and for generations to come. We ask you to work with your colleagues to maintain funding for the Keystone Fund and Environmental Stewardship Fund.”

The text of the letter follows--

Respected Elected Officials of Pennsylvania,

The undersigned organizations representing hundreds of thousands of hunters and anglers across the Commonwealth write to express our support for maintaining funding for the Keystone Recreation Park & Conservation Fund and the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

As Pennsylvania’s original conservationists, our pursuits are directly tied to good stewardship of our public lands, our rivers and streams and our fish and wildlife.

These special funds are crucial to ensuring quality opportunities for Pennsylvania’s hunters and anglers today and for generations to come.

We ask you to work with your colleagues to maintain funding for the Keystone Fund and Environmental Stewardship Fund.

For over 20 years, these programs have funded conservation projects across the Commonwealth, which have benefited a diverse range of communities.

The Keystone Fund and Environmental Stewardship Fund leverage local, federal, and privately raised dollars to amplify their impact on the ground. As much as $4 in additional outside funding is raised for every $1 from these state funds.

Cutting these funds will mean losing out on the force-multiplier benefit and additional resources these state dollars harness and bring back to Pennsylvania.

Additionally, projects funded by the Keystone Fund and Environmental Stewardship Fund employ local contractors who source materials from other nearby small businesses, benefitting local economies while conserving land and water in these communities.

Stakeholders include farmers, sportsmen, watershed associations, consultants, municipalities, as well as state and federal agencies that work together to complete projects that can span several months or years.

Most of the dollars currently in these funds are already committed to over 280 projects in progress across the Keystone State. These projects are putting small businesses and local contractors to work during difficult times.

Finally, the Keystone Fund and Environmental Stewardship Fund are a part of the conservation ethic deeply rooted in Pennsylvania’s sporting heritage. Investing in Pennsylvania’s natural resources has built the state outdoor recreation economy into a robust $26.9 billion industry.

The value and vitality of the outdoor industry in Pennsylvania was demonstrated during the past year as many public lands experienced 100 percent to 200 percent increases in use - with some parks seeing as much as a 400 percent increase.

Outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, and boating also saw significant rises in participation, with permit and license sales up 5 percent for hunting, 20 percent for fishing, and 40 percent for boating over 2019.

As more people turn to the outdoors for respite and sport the Keystone Fund and Environmental Stewardship fund continue to ensure state public lands remain open and safe when Pennsylvanian’s need these places the most.

As hunters and anglers, we recognize maintaining these special funds is a part of being good stewards of our fish and wildlife and an investment in our growing outdoor economy.

These resources are proving their worth to an increasing number of Pennsylvanians during these challenging times.

We encourage Pennsylvania’s leaders to recognize the value of our outdoor industry and safeguard our conservation heritage for current and future generations.

We ask you to work with your colleagues to ensure funding for the Keystone Fund and the Environmental Stewardship Fund is maintained.

Sincerely,

American Woodcock Society

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Chesapeake Council of Fly Fishers International

Delaware Valley Fly Fishers

Ducks Unlimited

Fly Fishers International

National Deer Association

National Wild Turkey Federation

Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited

Ruffed Grouse Society

Safari Club International

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Trout Unlimited

Click Here for a copy of the letter.

Related Articles This Week:

-- $201,977,000 Diverted From Environment, Energy Funds To Balance Fy 2020-21 State Budget

-- Hundreds Of Thousands Oppose Cuts In Local Recreation, Conservation Project Funding

-- Growing Greener Coalition: 93% Of Pennsylvanians Say We Have A Moral Obligation To Care For Our Environment - Don’t Cut Dedicated Funding

-- Growing Greener Coalition Urges General Assembly, Governor To Reject Any Budget Proposal That Undermines Dedicated Funding For Community-Driven Conservation Projects

-- Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership: 3 Reasons PA Officials Should Not Drain Conservation Funds To Balance The Budget - Act Now

-- PA Federation Of Sportsmen & Conservationists: Protect Dedicated State Funds Critical To Improve Habitat, Protect Wildlife In PA

-- CBF: Raiding Dedicated Conservation Funds To Plug The State's Budget Gap Would Further Damage PA's Environment

-- PA Environmental Council: Protect Investment In Outdoor Recreation And Public Lands

-- Op-Ed: Protect Our Investment In Outdoor Recreation - PA Environmental Council

-- PA Parks & Forests Foundation Opposes Any Effort To Cut Dedicated Funds To Support State Park, Forest, Recreation Projects

-- Op-Ed: Protecting Critical Funding For Outdoor Recreation - PA Parks & Forests Foundation

-- WeConservePA: State Conservation Funding Commitments Deliver Economic Benefits

Related Articles - Budget:

-- New Poll Shows 90% Of PA Voters Want Senate, House Members To Address Environmental, Conservation Priorities, Provide More Funding For Critical Programs

-- PA Farm Bureau, 45 Other Hunting, Angler, Business, Environmental, Watershed Groups Urge Senate, House To Pass On-Farm Conservation Funding Bill This Year

-- PA Conservation Districts Ask Lawmakers To Keep Same Funding For Their Vital Services As They Finalize FY 2020-21 State Budget

-- State Parks Continue To Break Visitor Records In September: 4.7 Million Visitors, Up 31 percent Over Last Year

-- State, Regional, Local Outdoor Recreation ‘Through The Roof’ Across Pennsylvania

-- Op-Ed: Now Is The Time To Invest In Parks, Not Cut Them

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

-- House Speaker Cutler: Republicans Will First Raid Dedicated Funds To Balance Budget In November

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

-- House Republicans Moving Bill To Reallocate Keystone Fund, Damage Vitality Of PA’s Outdoor Economy

-- Analysis: Why Republican Freeze On Funding For Local Parks, Trails, Farm Conservation, Mine Reclamation, Recycling Is Bad For The Economy, Communities, The Environment

-- Senate Environmental Committee Puts Spotlight On Funding Needed To Implement PA Clean Water Plan At Chesapeake Bay Briefing

[Posted: November 19, 2020]


11/23/2020

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