Vote for Nature in Your State

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Published on November 2nd, 2012  |  Discuss This Article  

Vote for Nature in Your State

Andrew Tuck is a Senior Campaign Advisor for The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Campaigns Team. He specializes in ballot measures, lobbying campaigns and other advocacy strategies to win new public funding for conservation.

Are you voting on Tuesday? If so, you may have a choice to vote for the outdoors!

Across the country there are more than 60 state and local ballot initiatives that are seeking to provide protections for land and water. Historically, voters in every region of the country have supported state and local ballot measures for land and water 76% of the time, during good economic times and bad.

We’ve gathered the top 10 conservation measures from around the country below — take a look and do your part to vote for nature!

1. ALABAMA
2100 1st Avenue North, Suite 500
Birmingham, AL 35203

Amendment 1: Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust

Amendment 1 will provide up to $15 million per year to continue the popular Alabama Forever Wild program for another 20 years. Voters first approved the Alabama Forever Wild program back in 1992. Since then, this program has protected over 227,000 acres of natural areas to ensure clean drinking water, preserve wildlife habitat, and provide access for outdoor recreation. Forever Wild is funded by fees from natural gas companies that drill off Alabama’s coastal waters and will not raise taxes.

2. RHODE ISLAND
159 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02906

Questions 5 & 6: Clean Water and Green Space

Question 5 will provide $20 million for clean water infrastructure projects to improve water quality of Narragansett Bay, ensure safe drinking water, cleaner beaches, more productive fisheries, and healthier communities. Question 6 will provide $20 million to restore the Narragansett Bay and protect its watershed; conserve natural habitat for the benefit of people, plants and wildlife; preserve family farms and local sources of food; and improve historic areas and local parks. Both Questions 5 and 6 are general obligation bonds and will not raise taxes.

3. MAINE
14 Maine Street, Suite 401
Brunswick, Maine 04011

Question 3: Land for Maine’s Future

Question 3 will provide $5 million to replenish the popular Land for Maine’s Future program. Since 1987, Land for Maine’s Future has made key investments in Maine’s natural resource-based economy. It has conserved over 445,000 acres of natural areas, rivers, and lakes; more than 1,000 miles of waterfront land; developed some 160 miles of recreational trails; expanded state and regional parks; and protected working farms. Question 3 is a general obligation bond so this measure will not raise taxes.

4. AUSTIN, TEXAS
318 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701

Propositions 13 & 14: Open Space and Parks

In Austin, voters can pass Proposition 13, authorizing $30 million in general revenue bonds for the purchase of land and conservation easements in the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer watershed. These lands will help protect the quality and quantity of rainfall runoff and recharge waters that provide the source of Barton Springs. Voters can also approve Proposition 14 which will authorize $77.7 million for parks and recreation projects for urban neighborhoods throughout the city. Political Advertisement by The Nature Conservancy.

5. POLK COUNTY, IOWA
505 5th Avenue, Suite 930
Des Moines, IA 50309

Measure A: Polk County Water & Land Legacy

Citizens of Polk County, Iowa can pass the Polk County Water & Land Legacy bond. This measure will provide $50 million to protect drinking water sources, help prevent flooding, and improve parks and trails. The average household in Polk County will spend no more than $9 each year to fund these activities.

6. LUCAS COUNTY, OHIO (Toledo Metro Area)
6375 Riverside Dr., Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017

Metropolitan Park District Levy

Voters in the Toledo metro area of Lucas County, OH can approve a new .9 mill, 10-year levy which will provide $66 million for acquiring natural areas for new parkland, maintain trails and facilities for this network of urban and wilderness parks.

7. GEAUGA COUNTY, OHIO (Cleveland Metro Area)
6375 Riverside Dr., Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017

Issue 28

Voters in the Cleveland area can approve Issue 28 which is a 20-year, 1 mill replacement property levy which will generate $58 million for this wonderful network of 19 parks which provides excellent outdoor recreation for thousands of people in the Cleveland area.

8. LAKE COUNTY, OHIO (Cleveland Metro Area)
6375 Riverside Dr., Suite 100
Dublin, OH 43017

Issue 7

Voters in the Cleveland area can approve Issue 7, which is a 10-year, .8 mill and additional property tax levy which will generate $27 million for park improvements and trails for this network of parks along the coast of Lake Erie.

9. GARFIELD COUNTY, COLORADO
2424 Spruce Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302

Question 1A: Protecting Ranchlands, Rivers and Recreation Economy

This measure will provide $20 million for open space and water conservation as part of a 10-year .25 percent sales tax. This measure was supported by Garfield County’s largest industries, including the ranching community and energy developers.

10. BOZEMAN, MONTANA
32 S. Ewing, Suite 215
Helena, MT 59601

Parks and Trails Bond

Bozeman residents can pass a $15 million bond for parks, trails, athletic fields and natural areas. The 20-year obligation bond will cost the Bozeman typical household less than $45 a year, less than $5 a month. Funds will be used solely for acquiring and improving parks, trails, stream corridors, and natural areas. In Bozeman, parks and trails support a large part of its recreation and tourism based economy.

[Image source: Vox Efx/Flickr via a Creative Commons license]

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Comments: Vote for Nature in Your State

  •  Comment from Steve Dionne

    How could you have not New Hampshire’s NPT Issue?

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