Thursday, June 15, 2017

Take A Few Minutes To Write To Your Legislator To Save Our State Parks & Forests

The PA Parks and Forests Foundation sent out this urgent message Thursday morning--

How much do your state parks and forests mean to you? Do they mean enough to take 15 minutes and write and mail a letter to your state senator and representative? Ten minutes to craft an email to them? Five minutes to make a phone call?
If ever you enjoyed an afternoon ... a day ... a weekend enjoying these wonderful places, now is the time to return the favor. If ever you took part in a program ...hiked on a trail ... launched a boat, now is the time to let your legislators know the impact of that visit.
Your elected officials need to hear from you. The House has already passed a budget proposal (House Bill 218) that cuts 16 percent (or nearly $60 million) from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and current statements from the Senate indicate they will have a "FY 2017-18 spend number about the same as the House."
For years, DCNR has been operating on a lean budget while demand for parks and forests have grown. With over 40 million visits a year to parks ALONE, our parks and forests are economic engines, BRINGING money into the Pennsylvania economy through small businesses in the communities that surround them, jobs for the people who work in them, and tourism dollars from the people who visit them. A dollar invested in our parks and forests brings $12.50 back to the Commonwealth.
For a detailed overview of the impact these cuts will likely have on the Department, please see DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn's letter to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee shortly after House Bill 218 PASSED.
What we ask is that the Department be funded at AT LEAST its "cost to carry" level, maintaining the status quo. In a perfect world, the Department would see a reversal of 15 years of cuts.
What cannot be borne is a further reduction in funding, staffing, maintenance, and your constitutional right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, cultural, and aesthetic value of the environment for all the people and generations yet to come.
What can you do?
-- Take a moment to contact your legislators. Suggested text of a letter or email can be found on our news blog. Personalize it with your own experiences and priorities.
-- Stay informed through our blog at Save Our Parks and Forests and Take Action Tuesday.
-- Share this email and the links with at least two friends.
-- Share any feedback you receive from your elected officials with us that might help us in our efforts to conserve YOUR state parks and forests.
Thank you. Together, we CAN Save Our Parks and Forests from another round of short-sighted budgetary drama!
Marci J. Mowery, President
PS: Are you on Instagram? If posting pictures of our state parks and forests, consider using our hashtags #SaveOurStateParks # PaBudget #Pennsylvania
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation,  Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.  Click Here to become a member of the Foundation.
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