Sunday, April 23, 2017

Op-Ed: How Trump’s Budget Will Hurt The Environment In PA

By Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

When Pennsylvania native Rachel Carson drew attention to the connection between the pesticide DDT and the loss of bald eagles and birds of prey, she helped spark the first Earth Day and the movement to create laws and programs that make sure we have clean water to drink, and protections for our air, land and wildlife.
This Earth Day, proposed drastic budget cuts at the federal level and the undoing of regulations threaten to weaken safeguards that protect our land and water resources.
Those changes will have a profound impact on state agencies doing the work to protect our citizens' health and safety and provide for a better quality of life.
For the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, some of the likely consequences of federal cuts include:
-- Loss of funding for the arsenal to combat invasive pests and plant species such as the emerald ash borer, hemlock wooly adelgid and gypsy moth;
-- Decreased ability to acquire and conserve forests and other lands that provide clean water, a chance to enjoy the outdoors and are the defining feature of Penn's Woods;
-- Cuts to essential resources for our staff of geologists and scientists who map what lies underground and provide important information to well drillers and industry;
-- Elimination of funding for National Heritage Areas that protect and draw tourists to experience the natural, historic and cultural resources that make the Commonwealth unique;
-- De-emphasis of the importance of science in preserving and conserving our environment and ensuring a clean, healthy and livable Pennsylvania; and
-- Potential elimination of all funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program, including funds to expand riparian buffers along Pennsylvania streams, for new boat launches, and other practices to make our rivers cleaner.
Spring is upon us in Pennsylvania, and science and technology make it possible for us to watch eaglets as they grow in nests in several locations in the state.
Though we once wondered whether our national symbol would be silenced, through research, environmental protection and conservation, raptor populations have returned.
At DCNR, we are proud to come to work every day in a state office building that bears Rachel Carson's name, and to carry on the work she started and the mission she cared about so passionately.
Today we face challenges about how to respond and adapt to a changing climate, and we need to act.
We need federal funding for programs and research that continue to make new discoveries and environmental improvements, like the work of Rachel Carson.
We should not feel that scientific research and programs that protect our air, land and water threaten our way of life - in fact, they have restored and they safeguard our natural resources and landscapes.
For more information, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Click Here to be part of DCNR’s Online Community,  Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
Op-Ed: How Trump’s Budget Will Hurt The Environment In PA, DCNR Secretary Dunn

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