Letter Template Supporting the Stewardship Program

As the legislature debates further cuts to the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program in the 2013-2015 State budget, show your support for this critical program by writing your legislators.  What follows is a letter template that you can cut and paste and to which you can add your personal information.  

To find your local legislators, click here.

Dear Senator or Representative,

I write this letter to express my strong support for the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program and ask you to do the same. I am a {board/staff/volunteer/dues paying} member of the {name of land trust or conservancy} located in {locality} serving {name the counties/region of coverage}. {share an example of your land trust’s work in the legislator’s district if possible…and show how the project works for the community by providing outdoor recreation or education opportunities, important wildlife habitat, improvements in water quality, tourism, forestry, or agriculture economy benefits, etc.}

I understand that some members of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) recently suggested that they may cut this important program which provides for state purchases of land for outdoor recreation and resource protection.  A portion of the program also provides grants to local governments and land trusts to help purchase lands and conservation easements. 

These lands form the backbone of our $12 billion tourism and $20 billion forestry industries.

In the last state budget, the legislature cut the program by 30%, from $86 million annually to $60 million, but also authorized it through 2020. Given the fiscal challenges at the time, I and many others in the land trust community recognized this as a reasonable compromise.  This makes it all the more puzzling to me that two years later, some members of JFC are suggesting further cuts are required even though the state’s fiscal health has improved and the popularity and importance of the program have only increased.

I ask that you stand with me and express your support for the preservation of the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program in its current form.

Sincerely,

{Your name and mailing address}
 

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