$4 Billion in Conservation Funding on Ballots Nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC, November, 1, 2004 – In Tuesday’s elections, voters in over 140 communities in 24 states will decide ballot measures to create nearly $25 billion in new public funding, including $4.3 billion specifically to protect land for parks and open space, according to the Trust for Public Land (TPL). TPL will monitor and release results as soon as they are available on Wednesday, November 3.

Since 1998, 824 conservation ballot measures have passed in 44 states, raising $22 billion in funding for land conservation – a rate of passage of approximately 77 percent. In the last presidential election year of 2000, 174 ballot measures passed (an 83 percent passage rate), creating $7.5 billion in funding for land conservation.

“In recent years, voters across the political spectrum have voiced strong support for protection of natural lands, clean water, and safe communities,” said Ernest Cook, TPL director of Conservation Finance. “This is a reaction to the continuing problems of sprawl that threaten the quality of life in so many areas.”

Among the presidential battleground states with November 2 measures are:

  • Michigan – 16 local measures at stake; over $100 million; including $35 million in Washtenaw County
  • Florida – 12 local measure at stake; over $2 billion; includes 3 Miami-Dade County Questions totaling over $1.4 billion
  • New Jersey – 44 local measures totaling $355 million; includes $105 million for Hunterdon County

A poll released in April 2004 by TPL and the Nature Conservancy demonstrated overwhelming public support for conservation ballot measures-65 percent of the nation’s voters indicate support for an “increase in taxes” to fund state and local government programs to purchase land to “protect water quality, natural areas, lakes rivers or beaches, neighborhood parks and wildlife habitat” including a solid majorities of Democrats (76%), Independents (65%), and Republican voters (57%).

A complete list of results from local and state balloting on conservation and parks will be available on-line at www.landvote.org. The results of Tuesday’s votes, along with results of all 2004 conservation measures, will be published as a report in early 2005. Results and ballot specifics from past and current ballot measures since are available on the LandVote database also available at www.landvote.org.

TPL, established in 1972, is the only national nonprofit working exclusively to protect land for human enjoyment and well-being. TPL helps conserve land for recreation and to improve the health and quality of life of American communities. Visit TPL on the web at www.tpl.org