The Trust for Public Land praises full funding of Clean Water Management Trust Fund

The Trust for Public Land today praised the N.C. General Assembly for fully funding the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and protecting other critical conservation programs.

RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 3, 2001 — The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization that protects land for public use and enjoyment, praises the General Assembly for fully funding the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and protecting other critical conservation programs, including the state's Land Conservation Tax Credit and the Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

"In supporting these programs, the leadership of North Carolina has shown its long term vision and commitment to land conservation and water quality in our state," said D.G. Martin, Carolinas Director for the Trust for Public Land. The budget contains full funding for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund at $40 million this year, and $70 million next year. The Conservation Tax Credit program was retained and the Farmland Preservation Trust Fund was funded at $200,000.

North Carolina has the nation's first and only Clean Water Management Trust Fund, and in the years since its creation it has been fundamental to local efforts to protect water quality throughout the state. The Board of Trustees of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund will consider over $100 million worth of requests in the next six months for over 80 local governments, soil and water districts, state agencies, and land trusts to fix leaky sewers, to protect and restore buffers and streams, and to reduce storm water pollution.

The state's Land Conservation Tax Credit Program is one of North Carolina's most effective water and land conservation programs and one of the best incentives that the State provides for landowners. According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources about 30 individual and corporate property owners have utilized the Conservation Tax Credit Program and have donated 68,500 acres of land or conservation easements worth an estimated $121.2 million at a cost to the State of $16.7 million. That equals $7.25 of direct conservation results for every dollar invested by the State.

"We look forward to working with the General Assembly to determine a good, workable structure for a dedicated and growing source of conservation funding to compliment existing land conservation tools like the Conservation Tax Credit," said Martin.

The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund is a critical tool for protecting North Carolina's working landscapes and the program's continued growth is essential to stemming the rapid loss of our farmland. North Carolina ranks second in the country in conversion of prime agricultural land to urban uses.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide valued at $2 billion. TPL has helped protect more than 10,000 acres across North Carolina, from the shores of Mountain Island Lake to the headwaters of the Chattooga River. The Wall Street Journal's Smart Money magazine recently named TPL the nation's most efficient large conservation charity, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. For more information, please visit www.tpl.org.

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