Legacy Land Conservation Fund endangered

This is extremely important.  Trust funds are set up to make sure activities that require consistant, log term effort are adequately funded.  Defunding the Legacy Land Conservation Fund for two years will jeopardize 6 years of effort and important on going efforts to help the homeless and to enable important conservation projects.

FYI, Senate Bill 120, HD 1 is scheduled to be heard before the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, April 5 at 4:30 in Room 308.  Section VIII of the bill proposes to zero out the Legacy Land Conservation Fund for two years.  Please submit testimony regarding the importance of the fund:

The hearing notice is at:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/hearingnotices/HEARING_FIN_04-05-11_3_.HTM

To submit testimony opposing this bill, please submit testimony today (if can) indicating:

·     Testifier’s name with position/title and organization;

·     The Committee the comments are directed to (House Finance Committee);

·     The date and time of the hearing (Tue, April 5 at 4:30);

·     Measure number (SB 120 HD 1); and

·     The number of copies the Committee is requesting (2 copies).

Submit testimony in ONE of the following ways:

PAPER:  2 copies to Room 306 in the State Capitol;

FAX:       For comments less than 5 pages in length, transmit to 586-6001 (Oahu) or 1-800-535-3859 (for Neighbor Islanders without a computer to submit testimony through e-mail or the Web); or

WEB:      For comments less than 4MB in size, transmit from the Web page at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/emailtestimony.

Talking points:

-The Legacy Land Conservation Fund (LLCF) was passed in 2005 with broad support of the conservation and affordable housing communities, and the vast majorities of the House and Senate.

-The LLCF has resulted in signature Legacy project in all the areas in which the fund was established to protect.  For example,  MA’O Farm for agriculture, Lapakahi State Historical Park for Hawaiian culture and coastal access, Honouliuli Forest Reserve for watershed and habitat protection.  For a complete list of projects:

http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/llcp/legacy-land-conservation-program-projects-new

-The LLCF leverages significant sources of federal, county, and private dollars, and results in significant ecosystem services.  Studies in other areas of the U.S. suggest that land conservation returns $6 in ecosystem services for every $1 spent (e.g., avoiding treatment of drinking water, erosion and flood control, scenic resources that draw tourism).

-The program has already been cut by 60% as real estate conveyances taxes have dropped during the poor economy.

-The down economy is also a strategic time to invest in once-in-a lifetime land conservation opportunities that will never happen again — land values are down, and land conservation of scenic coastlines, agricultural land, and other important resources to Hawai’i — are more possible than ever.  If we don not have a small core program, we will lose these opportunities forever.

-The program should not be zeroed out — staff would lose their jobs, the volunteer Legacy Land Conservation Commission would be disbanded, ongoing efforts to pass administrative rules would be halted, institutional knowledge would be lost.   Start up of the program from zero would difficult and costly.

Mahalo for your help.

Lea Hong

Hawaiian Islands Program Director
Trust for Public Land
1136 Union Mall, Suite 202
Honolulu, HI  96813
808-524-8563 (direct)
808-783-3653 (mobile)
(808)-524-8565 (fax)

The Trust for Public Land – Celebrating 35 years of conserving land for people–2 million acres and counting. www.tpl.org

 

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