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Crisis for NC State Parks and Natural Heritage program!

Hi Carolinabirders,

Anyone who birds in or cares about NC State Parks - Eno River, Morrow
Mountain, Lake Waccamaw, Lake Phelps, Lake Norman, Falls Lake, Mount
Mitchell, Lumber River, Fort Fisher, Raven Rock, Weymouth Woods, Merchants
Millpond, Goose Creek, Carolina Beach, Jockey's Ridge, etc. - needs to
read the below and take action! Maybe out-of-staters too, to communicate
the benefit of state parks to the NC economy.

I still haven't finished writing to people about the interstate through
the Green Swamp, and now a *real* mess comes along. The NC House of Reps
has proposed balancing the budget by misappropriating the Natural Heritage
and Parks and Recreation trust funds. I have also heard rumours that the
Clean Water Management Trust Fund is being eyed. The Eno River
Association's plans to protect more land along Old Oxford Highway to
buffer and augment Penny's Bend, the Flat River and Little River
impoundments, the Butner Gamelands, and other top local birding and nature
attractions is relying on money from one of these sources; the Ellerbe
Creek Watershed Association's preserve was bought using funds from

And it isn't just in the Triangle; local governments and agencies all over
the state use these funds to create new parks and preserves, and to
maintain and develop the parks we already have. If this happens, no new
land protection for at least a couple of years, and the lands already
protected get no new trails or facilities while existing ones fall into

More details are below. At the bottom is a list of NC state senators and
representatives with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Find yours and
call them!


Joshua S. Rose
Duke University
Department of Biology (Zoology, R.I.P.)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
----- Original Message -----

  We have just learned that the Appropriations Committee conferees for the
  House of Representatives have proposed to the Senate conferees that the
  money from the Parks and Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Funds be
  reallocated for the next Fiscal Year to help make up for the projected
  budget shortfall.  The Senate is scheduled to respond this morning.

  This is HUGE for a number of reasons:
  1)  Some projections indicate that the second year of the biennium will
  be in worse shape than the first year.  If that is the case we can
  expect the reallocation to last for at least two years.  If it is
  reallocated for one or two years, who can predict what will happen after
  2)  These trust funds were established to provide a predictable source
  of revenue to address the conservation and recreation needs of the state
  and local governments so they could plan and address both long term
  requirements and major projects that needed to accomplished in phases in
  a systematic manner.  Local governments in NC have a backlog of over $1
  billion on land acquisition, renovation, and development needs.  The
  State Parks system has over $400 million in needs to address the needs
  identified in the existing park master plans and general management
  plans.  These requirements do not address any expansion through the
  creation of new parks.
  3)  This reallocation would wipe out the major sources available to
  state and local governments for land acquisition at a time when timber
  companies and utilities are selling off large tracts of property that
  may never be available for conservation or recreation purposes again.
  4)  This reallocation would also eliminate any opportunity we have to
  accomplish the goal set by the General Assembly in 1999 to conserve an
  additional 1 million acres of land by the year 2009.

  I could go on, but we need for everyone who is concerned about parks,
  recreation, and conservation to call and e-mail your delegates in the
  General assembly and let them know this is unacceptable.  One General
  Assembly staff member has told me that they are not hearing from their
  constituents concerning the preservation of the trust funds or on the
  possibility of raising any taxes.  We need to let them hear and it must
  happen NOW - this morning!

  Raleigh phone numbers and e-mail addresses for the members of the House
  and Senate Conference Committee are attached.  Please take time now to
  call and e-mail the committee members - particularly the members from
  your district.  the President Pro Tem and the Co-Speakers need to hear
  from  EVERYONE!  NOW!

  What happens to this proposal, today, may well set the stage for how
  these trust funds are viewed for many years into the future.  Will they
  be seen as sources of revenue to be taken any time the budget runs into
  problems or will they be viewed as truly dedicated funds to be used to
  protect the outstanding natural resources of North Carolina and provide
  our citizens with the opportunities for the quality of life they have
  grown to expect and enjoy.  That decision will be made and it will
  depend on these General Assembly members hearing from every advisory
  committee member, every board member, every citizen who uses or whose
  children use these lands and facilities, and the council or commission
  of every community that has ever received a grant. They need to hear
  NOW.  Pleas sit down and call AND e-mail your Senator and Representative


it will effect us TREMENDOUSLY. our entire project is based on the
assumption that these monies will be there. if they are not, we won't be
doing ANY land protection around Penny's Bend or anywhere else in the
state, to any meaningful degree. PLEASE contact your legislators
immediately, especially the CHAIRS OF THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE!!!! THis
is so tremendously important. THEY MUST HEAR FROM THE CONSERVATION

Speaker James B. Black      733-3451     Jimb@ncleg.net
Speaker Richard Morgan      715-3010     Richardm@ncleg.net

* James W. Crawford, Jr., Chair   733-5824               Jimcr@ncleg.net
* Wilma M. Sherrill, Chair              715-3026         Wilmas@ncleg.net
* Martha B. Alexander                   733-5807         Marthaa@ncleg.net
* Gordon P. Allen                       733-5662         Gordona@ncleg.net
* Rex L. Baker                         733-5787          Rexb@ncleg.net
* Harold J. Brubaker                      715-4946       Brub@ncleg.net
* E. Nelson Cole                          733-5779       Nelsonc@ncleg.net
* William T. Culpepper, III            715-3028          Billc@ncleg.net
* Bill G. Daughtridge, Jr.               733-5802        Billd@ncleg.net
* Beverly M. Earle                       715-2530        Beverlye@ncleg.net
* Jean Farmer-Butterfield             733-5898           Jeanf@ncleg.net
* Stanley H. Fox                         733-5758        Stanf@ncleg.net
* Michael A. Gorman                      715-3019        Michaelg@ncleg.net
* W. Robert Grady                          715-9644      Robertg@ncleg.net
* Joe Hackney                          733-5752          Joeh@ncleg.net
* R. Phillip Haire                        715-3005       Philliph@ncleg.net
* Julia C. Howard                         733-5904       Juliah@ncleg.net
* Maggie Jeffus                         733-5191         Maggiej@ncleg.net
* Carolyn H. Justice                   715-9664          Carolynju@ncleg.net
* Joe L. Kiser                            733-5782       Joek@ncleg.net
* Stephen A. LaRoque                      715-3017       Stephenl@ncleg.net
* Paul Luebke                         733-7663           Paull@ncleg.net
* Daniel F. McComas                      733-5786        Dannym@ncleg.net
* William C. McGee                      733-5747         Williamm@ncleg.net
* David M. Miner                         733-5934        Davidm@ncleg.net
* Edd Nye                                 733-5477       Eddn@ncleg.net
* William C. Owens, Jr.                   733-0010       Billo@ncleg.net
* John I. Sauls                          715-3012        Johns@ncleg.net
* Bonner L. Stiller                      733-5974        Bonners@ncleg.net
* Joe P. Tolson                           715-3024       Joet@ncleg.net
* William L. Wainwright                   733-5995       Williamw@ncleg.net
* Keith P. Williams                   715-3009           Keithw@ncleg.net
* Thomas E. Wright                      733-5754         Tomw@ncleg.net
* Douglas Y. Yongue                       733-5821       Douglasy@ncleg.net

                           Appointed 05/05/2003

President Pro Tem Marc Basnight        733-6854           Marcb@ncleg.net

* Linda Garrou, Chair                    733-5620         Lindag@ncleg.net
* Walter H. Dalton, Chair               715-3038          Walterd@ncleg.net
* Kay R. Hagan, Chair                  733-5856           Kayh@ncleg.net
* Charles W. Albertson                    733-5705        Charliea@ncleg.net
* Daniel G. Clodfelter                    715-8331        Danielc@ncleg.net
* Charlie Smith Dannelly               733-5955           Charlied@ncleg.net
* Wib Gulley                          715-3036            Wibg@ncleg.net
* David W. Hoyle                       733-5734           Davidh@ncleg.net
* John H. Kerr III                      733-5621          Johnk@ncleg.net
* Jeanne Hopkins Lucas                   733-4599         Jeannel@ncleg.net
* Stephen M. Metcalf                   733-5707           Stevem@ncleg.net
* William R. Purcell                    733-5953          Williamp@ncleg.net
* Tony Rand                              733-9892         Tonyr@ncleg.net
* Eric Miller Reeves                     715-6400         Ericr@ncleg.net
* A. B. Swindell                         715-3030         abs@ncleg.net
* Scott Thomas                             733-6275       Scottt@ncleg.net
* David F. Weinstein                    733-5651          Davidw@ncleg.net


Lori Olson
Executive Director
Eno River Association
(919) 620-9099
------- End of forwarded message -------