In January, Governor Patrick released his Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which includes additional funding cuts to the state’s environmental agencies. Spending on all environmental programs and agencies in Massachusetts has been reduced by 20 percent over the past decade, and spending for these important purposes represents a paltry 0.58 percent of the overall state budget. The budget for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which manages nearly 500,000 acres of forests, parks, beaches, and pools, and is the ninth largest park system in the country, has been cut 26 percent since Fiscal Year 2008 alone.
Why this matters: Staff layoffs and reduced funding mean that certain forests and parks will be closed, reducing opportunities for camping and swimming, and those that remain open will have shorter operating seasons, including Nickerson State Park on Cape Cod and Dean Pond in Brimfield State Forest. These cuts will hurt families that depend on DCR properties for vacations, day trips, and connections to the natural world.
Take Action: Contact your state legislators to urge them to keep the budget for state environmental programs at least as high as last year.
Email your state legislators today!
Labels: conservation, Conservation Action Network, Massachusetts