CA Elections: A Clear Statement About Climate Change... And Big Challenges Ahead

Prop 23 goes down in flames but the future of conservation is still in peril as the initiative aimed to save California State Parks and wildlife areas fails at the hands of voters

SAN FRANCISCO, CA | November 02, 2010

Mike Sweeney, Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy in California made the following statement on the results of the November 2nd elections and future of environmental conservation in California:

Proposition 23 was defeated at the polls yesterday. This defeat preserves California’s landmark climate change legislation. This historic vote is the first major vote ever on a climate initiative anywhere in the world.

California voters spoke out to protect the important progress we’ve made and sent a clear signal to policy makers, industry leaders and community members that California is serious about addressing the impacts of climate change to protect our environment, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.

Although Americans voted to dedicate more than 2 billion dollars for conservation in key ballot measures across the nation, unfortunately Prop 21, the state parks initiative, failed approval at the hands of voters in California. Ongoing economic challenges, a contentious election and a very frustrating budget situation in California made it difficult to connect with voters about the urgency to bring stability to state park funding.

As a result, state funding for our parks, fish and wildlife and wider state-funded conservation initiatives will likely face serious cuts in the years ahead—unless new revenues can be identified.

The Nature Conservancy will continue to seek innovative solutions to support our incredible parks, recreation, wildlife and coastal and marine conservation programs.

We entered this campaign based on our science, research and hands-on experience with state parks and other agencies. We understand the challenges confronting conservation across California and are equally determined to make a difference in revitalizing California’s reputation as a leader in conservation. To protect our state parks means to protect the natural areas that keep us thriving and leave our children with a treasured legacy.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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Vanessa Martin

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