Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is member of the Virginia Conservation Network. The talking points below are derived from materials produced by VCN and their members. We have highlighted links to additional talking points for these bills as well. A link for contact information is at the bottom of the page.
Support – Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund, Budget Amendment 97 #2H – $2 Million per year
This amendment provides an additional $2.0 million the second year from the general fund to the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund.
- The Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund was established in 2007 to provide grant funding to localities with certified farmland preservation programs. Since its inception, the program has been woefully underfunded.
- Virginia should fully fund this vital grant program, providing much needed matching funds and encouraging other localities to adopt Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs of their own.
Support – Virginia Land Conservation Foundation – $16 Million per year
- The legislature should ensure that adequate funds are allocated to this important program that not only protects wildlife habitat and ensure access to the outdoors, but it is also critical in achieving goals on protecting water quality, water supply, and climate resiliency.
Support – Increase VCAP Appropriation, Budget Amendment 373 #3H – $500,000 increase for second year, bringing total funding to $1 million the second year.
- VCAP currently has a backlog of more than $200,000 until future funding is provided, and the restoration of the appropriation to its previous level will allow the program to meet growing demand and assist with water quality goals in urban areas.
Support – Environmental literacy funding, Budget Amendment 373 #2H – $170,000, restores funding unallotted last year.
- This request recognizes the commitment Virginia made to its students and the importance environmental education plays developing and nurturing watershed stewards. These funds provide for meaningful interactions and learning opportunities for students throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
- Environmental Education increases equity in a number of ways including allowing citizens to more fully participate in the civic process surrounding environmental justice, helping citizens understand issues impacting their health and wellness, and providing all students equal access to natural resources and outdoor space.
- Studies have shown a direct correlation between environmental access and equity to mental and physical health with communities living in degraded environmental conditions and less access to outdoor space experiencing more negative health outcomes, which has been further highlighted and exacerbated by COVID.
- Environmental Education best practices are best practices across the board, and increasing our teachers’ capacity to deliver quality Environmental Education programs increases their ability to deliver meaningful content across all curriculums.
Support – Increase Support for Trails and Outdoor Recreation, Budget Item #HB-1800, Item 447-H – $5 Million to provide support the development of multi-use trails
- Virginians need daily access to parks and green spaces to thrive, and we must ensure communities that have inadequate access receive adequate access.