This budget season we need you to tell your legislators to protect Forests and New York State Public Lands. Send the letter below to Governor Cuomo, your Assembly member and Senator to ensure that the final NYS Budget provides funding for land acquisition and stewardship of our public lands, protects public lands from ATVs, and provides incentives and protections for forested lands to remain undeveloped for habitat, sustainable working forests, and carbon sequestration.

Send a letter now and tell family and friends to send letters before March 30, 2018!

When you send the letter above, you are asking your legislators to:

1. Reject a tax cap on taxable state lands (Part F in the Executive Revenue Article VII Language Bill S7509-A/A9509-A). This proposal would allow state government to determine the value of taxable state lands and create a tax cap on these parcels. The proposal has caused uncertainty about local community and school budgets and is likely to cause local governments to use their veto power during future state land acquisition opportunities.
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2. Reject Part XXX of the Senate Budget Bill (Transportation, Economic Development, and Environmental Conservation S7508-B), which increases the allowable weight of ATVs across the state. ATV trespass on state public lands is the number one issue for NYS Forest Rangers. ATV safety, enforcement, and the protection of state public lands must be addressed before the allowable weight of ATVs is increased.
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3. Support the Catskill Package. This 14 million dollar package supports critical maintenance, access, interpretation, and stewardship projects in the Catskill Park. The Catskill Package includes support for the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, and for protecting hemlocks and the forests that ensure good drinking water quality for the New York City water supply. Catskill Park programs conserve open space, steward our existing recreational resources, protect and improve water quality, promote responsible forest stewardship, build community resilience, and create new trails and public access.
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4. Support a fully funded, $300 million, Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The EPF protects open space, revitalizes waterfronts, supports recycling, preserves farmland, enhances water quality, and helps connect New Yorkers with the outdoors. The program, financed primarily through New York’s real estate transfer tax, has also contributed to economic development and generated thousands of jobs for New Yorkers. The EPF provides funding to acquire and steward NYS public lands, including support for trail building, maintenance, and for summit and trail stewards.
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5. Support the Empire Forests for the Future Initiative (EFFI). This important program will reform the current forest tax law to reduce forest loss and encourage landowners to manage their lands to provide wildlife habitat, produce sustainable timber, capture carbon, and improve water quality. This legislation will allow more landowners to participate in forest relief programs and provide more effective incentives to encourage sustainable forest management.
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