Below are some of the timely issues WALT is working on, along with actions you can take to support land conservation in Washington.
March 7, 2017
Budget negotiations in Olympia started in earnest yesterday. The Senate and House are expected to finalize budget proposals by March 16.
The programs land trusts care about are at risk – your voice is needed NOW. Legislators are starting with the Governor’s “book one” budget – the scenario with no new revenue that did not include enough for school construction. That means legislators are looking to fill about a $300 million gap to pay for their education obligations.
Please contact your legislators by this Friday March 10th about our capital budget requests.
WALT and our members have a number of priorities, including Salmon Funding, PSAR, ESRP, Floodplains by Design, Forest Health, and RCPP, as well as the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. If you have a grant application in, focus there and with the priority for your organization. If you do not, your voice is still critical – weigh in with the programs that matter most to your community.
It will be helpful to mention the following:
- Lead with information about local projects, why they are important to their constituents and should not be cut.
- Emphasize any non-state funding your project leverages: federal matching funds and private funding make a powerful case for state investment.
- If you recently met with your legislator, thank them for their time and make sure to answer any of their questions about your projects or programs.
- End with an ask, like “Can we count on you to support…?”
This is the time for a full tilt effort in support of programs we care about. With the state of the budget, we should expect the worst and mobilize our resources. That means, in addition to sending a note yourself, ask landowners, your board members, local elected officials, and partners to weigh in.
You can find legislators’ email addresses here.
Here are fact sheets that you can include for our legislative priorities:
- Salmon Recovery Funding Board Fact Sheet
- Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Program Fact Sheet
- Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP) Fact Sheet
- Floodplains by Design Project List, Project Descriptions & Infographic
- Forest and Community Resiliency Legislative Agenda
- Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Fact Sheets (via WWRC Legislative Day materials)