TPL Praises President’s Conservation Funding Proposal

WASHINGTON, 2/5/02 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization which protects land for public enjoyment, today praised the administration of President George W. Bush for proposing increases in the Forest Legacy and brownfields programs in the budget proposal for fiscal year 2003.

“Both of these programs provide important help to local communities and we applaud President Bush for proposing increases in their budgets,” said Alan Front, TPL Senior Vice President.

The budget submitted to Congress proposes to increase the Agriculture Department’s Forest Legacy Program to $70 million, an increase of $5 million over last year’s level, for grants to states for private forest land conservation, through easements and fee purchases. For brownfields, the budget proposes an increase to $200 million, from $98 million, to spending for cleaning up brownfields, which are former industrial sites with some contamination. The brownfields program is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“As the budget moves to Capitol Hill, we look forward to working with both the House and Senate to support increases in these important programs, and for other environmental efforts,” Front said. “These programs provide real help to American communities, they are widely supported, and they simply cannot wait. While recognizing the need for increased spending for defense and homeland security, we also recognize that conservation needs are no less immediate.”

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law, to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. Across the nation, TPL has helped protect more than 1.2 million acres. For more information, visit TPL on the web at