State leaders fund land conservation despite tight budget

After a tenuous state budget debate, The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund emerged with $2 million in funding for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund helps permanently protect tracts of farmland by funding conservation agreements with working farmers. The N.C. Senate initially allocated nothing for the fund, as has been its fate on and off for the past decade. But the N.C. House of Representatives allocated $2 million for it, a sum that won out in budget negotiations.
The Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which preserve tracts of forested land, was awarded $50 million — half of what it has gotten historically.
“In a tight economy, our legislators demonstrated great leadership in supporting and protecting funding for land and water conservation that will boost our economy and protect our lands, drinking water, parks, trails and wildlife habitat,” said Kate Dixon, director of Land for Tomorrow, a nonprofit that advocates land preservation.

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