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$1.4 Million in grants announced for New York land conservation initiatives in 2009

August 11, 2008 | Albany, NY

For Immediate Release
August 11, 2008

Contact:
Ethan Winter
Land Trust Alliance
(518) 587-0774

Maureen Wren
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
(518) 402-8000

The Funds Strengthen Community-Based Land Conservation Across New York

Albany, NY - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Land Trust Alliance (Alliance), a not-for-profit land conservation organization, announce their seventh annual round of competitive grants for local land trusts under the New York State Conservation Partnership Program.

Approximately $1.4 million will be awarded in early 2009 to New York land trusts, enabling these local organizations to strengthen land conservation and public outreach programs, build community partnerships and implement best business practices. (Local land trusts, including those that are not a member of the Land Trust Alliance, are eligible for grant funding.) The Conservation Partnership Program is a cost-effective model for leveraging public and private funding for land trusts and their efforts to advance New York's communities' conservation goals as part of the Open Space Plan and to protect New York's clean air, water and special places.

"Now more than ever, land trusts play a vital role in ensuring that New York's communities are healthy places to live, work and play," DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said. "For its seventh year, the Conservation Partnership Program will help enable the cooperative efforts of land trusts and state and local governments to achieve DEC's goal of re-connecting New Yorkers to nature and helping communities create new public access to natural areas."

Established in 2002 and funded through the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), the Conservation Partnership Program is administered by the Alliance in coordination with DEC. Over the last six years, the Alliance has received a total of $3 million in EPF appropriations for re-grants and technical assistance, investing in over 200 projects with 64 different land trusts working in communities from Harlem to the Adirondacks. This pioneering initiative has leveraged millions of dollars in additional conservation funding and helped communities permanently conserve more than 10,000 acres of environmentally-significant land across New York.

"This program represents an exciting public-private partnership that demonstrates how communities can dramatically accelerate the pace and quality of local conservation efforts," said Rand Wentworth, President of the Land Trust Alliance. "Land trusts provide for long-term land stewardship in communities, connecting children and families to the land and providing outdoor recreational opportunities close to home. We are proud to partner with DEC, and thank the State of New York for its leadership and investment in New York's land trust community."

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About the Land Trust Alliance

The Alliance is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices, and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats.  2007 marked the 25th anniversary of the Alliance, and during this time its members have permanently conserved over 36 million acres across the country. The New York State Conservation Partnership Program is based out of the Alliance's Northeast office in Saratoga Springs, NY.

For more information about the New York State Conservation Partnership Program, and to download application forms for the 2008-09 land trust grants, please visit the Land Trust Alliance's website at www.landtrustalliance.org, or contact Ethan Winter, the Alliance's New York Conservation Manager, at (518) 587-0774.

 

Click here to access more information on the New York State Conservation Partnership Program including 2008-09 grant applications, summaries of previously funded projects, and details on the history of the Conservation Partnership Program.

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