Statement from Larry Clemens, state director of the Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, on Gov. Holcomb’s proposal to invest $25 million in conservation
“Gov. Holcomb’s proposal to invest $25 million into conserving important natural areas across Indiana makes the state an important partner in a comprehensive and wide-ranging effort already underway. It’s a critical component to ensure the state has a hand in making sure all Hoosiers have access to Indiana’s beautiful natural areas.
“The governor’s proposal is the most significant commitment of state funding to land conservation in the 30 years since the General Assembly created the President Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust, and not a moment too soon. If enacted, it will leverage millions of dollars from private entities including the state’s land trusts. It also will help state and local parks departments secure land accessible to all Hoosiers.
“In September we saw a graphic demonstration of the need for this funding. The state used one-time federal funds the Legislature appropriated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to make grants to land trusts and parks departments in all corners of Indiana. The grants of more than $23 million made it possible for eight land trusts, three local parks departments and two state agencies to secure more than 3,700 acres for the benefit of all Hoosiers. The ARRA dollars leveraged more than $6 million in private funding, demonstrating the important role Indiana can play.
“At a time when our legislators are considering important issues like education, economic development and Hoosiers’ overall well-being, it’s important to recognize the role nature plays in all of these aspects of life. Gov. Holcomb’s proposed investment in natural Indiana bolsters all the other important programs the state will undertake in the next budget. I’m grateful for the governor’s recognition of the important role Indiana can play in conserving our state’s most precious places, and I urge the General Assembly to enact it in the next budget.”
In September, The Nature Conservancy received two grants of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the State. The grants totaling $1.8 million were used to acquire about 400 acres in targeted conservation areas of southern Indiana.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.