COLT’s weekly land trust news
Monday December 5th, 2016
Snowy Monday everyone:
A couple of quick updates before letting you get on with the latest news and information this week.
First, Kelley sent out an email to the COLT board last week with some key highlights from Governor Brown’s recommended 2017-19 budget, which she released last Thursday. Here’s Kelley’s email:
Governor Brown released her 2017-2109 recommended budget on December 1st, and we wanted to share it with the COLT board. There are no major surprises, though the budget does NOT include funding for the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program as requested by OWEB ($4.2m), which is unfortunate. However, this does not preclude COLT and our partners from advancing the program or seeking funding this coming Legislative session, but it will require COLT to take a leadership role since it will not be in an agency policy package.
Here is a link to the public announcement and abbreviated version of the budget (24 pages). And here’s the detailed version and the full budget.
A few key points found in the budget that are relevant to land trust work:OWEB (page 186 of the detailed budget):
- The Governor’s Budget for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board is $117.8 million.
- This is a 14% increase from OWEB 2015-17 budget, largely due to increased lottery revenues.
- The Governor’s Budget for OWEB’s Grants Program is $108.4 million total funds.
- This is a 15% increase from 2015-17.
ODFW (page 154):
- The Governor’s Budget for ODFW’s Conservation Division is $10.9 million.
- This is a 28% increase from their 2015-17 budget, primarily driven by an increase in federal funding for the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program.
Secondly, time is running out for negotiations in the Senate to pass the Energy Bill, which would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Our national partners tell COLT that “any deal would likely have to come together in the next 24 hours so we are ALL HANDS ON DECK reaching out to supporters in the House and Senate, urging them to press Leadership to hold firm on getting LWCF done this year.”
We have reached out to a few land trust members to get in touch with Oregon’s Congressional delegation, and would encourage any organization to let our federal delegation know how important LWCF is to our work.
There certainly is a wish among the conservation community to get this Energy Bill passed during the lameduck session to help preserve LWCF before the next administration takes office. We will keep you apprised of these urgent efforts as they are updated.
And….in other less heavy news: here’s a young polar bear enjoying her first snow at the Oregon Zoo today.
Hope everyone is well.
Communication and Outreach Manager