Saving our land

Coontree loop -stream

Gov. Perdue vetoed the budget on Sunday (June 12). Read her statement. There were lots of reasons why the Governor took that action but I was gratified to read the following:

The natural environmental treasures that we cherish and that draw so many visitors to North Carolina will be at risk of permanent damage or destruction;

• Historical sites that attract tourists and stimulate economic activity by commemorating our rich cultural heritage will be closed;

Last week, I received two messages – actually I received many about the environment but I saved two. The first deals with our North Carolina pollution laws:

Bad, bad things are happening in the state legislature and we need your help to stop them. See http://action.ncconservationnetwork.org/rulesrollback

When a legislative session is coming to an end, we typically see some of the worst special interest proposals pushed through the legislature with little or no debate. Well, the end is near (of the legislative session) and, sure enough, legislators are preparing to give a huge gift to polluters with Senate Bill 7811.

SB 781 is similar to the budget language and House legislation that would roll back decades of progress to protect clean air, clean water, and our beautiful natural areas in North Carolina. SB 781 would undo hundreds on critical protections for our natural areas by creating a mountain of red tape for state agencies. Essentially bringing many key protections down to the federal minimum requirements; a move only big polluters can love.

Tell your legislators and Governor Perdue that you want to keep North Carolina protections in place so that we continue to be a great place for family, business, and travel. We won’t be a more attractive state to business and tourism with dirty air, dirty water, or spoiled natural areas.

The second deals with funding the National Parks. It comes from the National Parks Conservation Association which  encourages national parks supporters to write to our congress representative.

We are writing to express our strong support for adequate levels of funding for our national parks as you prepare the Fiscal Year 2012 Interior Appropriations bill.  We appreciate the Subcommittee’s leadership on the bipartisan effort over the past four years to restore critically needed funding for the parks.

We understand and agree with the need to budget carefully this year and value the tough decisions that Congress and the President have made to trim federal spending.   However, we believe that we must continue to support national treasures such as our parks system.  National Parks have proven to be a good investment for communities, jobs, and future generations.  Furthermore, in this time of economic uncertainty, Americans have again turned to the national parks to improve their spirits, connect with our nation’s tremendous natural and cultural heritage and enjoy affordable time with their families.

A recent survey showed that 91% of Americans have visited a National Park Service unit, and 62% having visited in the past two years. As you assemble this year’s appropriations bill, we encourage you to do all that you can to make critically needed investments in our national parks, particularly for the operating account.

 

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