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E-M:/ FW: News of the Day 1/25

-----Original Message-----
From: Jessica Love [mailto:jlove@FARMLAND.ORG]
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2002 4:50 PM
Subject: News of the Day 1/25

The Bush Administration supports smart growth, said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman in a press release issued today (attached and below). In a separate release, Land Trust Alliance and the Trust for Public Land announced that voters committed nearly $1.7 billion toward preserving open space through local ballot measures in 2001.

The Washington Post reports on a 
corporate wetlands mitigation project in West Virginia , and an article in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat outlines a first-ever initiative to let farmers lease public land for agricultural purposes.

1. Land and eco assets for sale (Washington Post):  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35274-2002Jan24.html
2. Unique program allows open space to be leased for agricultural use (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
3. Voters commit nearly $1.7 billion to open space
4. Bush Administration Embraces Environmental Initiative

PR Newswire
January 24, 2002
LENGTH: 642 words


Voters approved 137 local ballot measures for land conservation last year, committing almost $ 1.7 billion in funding for parks and open space, according to the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) and the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Since 1998, voters have given their support to more than $ 19 billion in open space funding, passing 529 referenda.

The final data on election year 2001 is contained in "LandVote 2001," a guide to state and local conservation funding produced by TPL and LTA. The guide was released this week in San Diego at the "New Partners for Smart Growth" conference, sponsored by Pennsylvania State University, the Local Government Commission, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "LandVote 2001" documents the continuing trend of voters support for open space measures. On Nov. 6 alone, voters approved 86 referenda, providing nearly $ 1.2 billion for land protection. The Nov. 6 results came on top of the 51 successful open space ballot measures that passed earlier in 2001. Among the largest successful measures on Nov. 6 were: -- $ 192 million in Morris County, NJ, for open space, recreation and farmland preservation -- $ 188 million in Middlesex County, NJ, for land conservation, recreation, farmland or historic preservation -- $ 160 million in Santa Clara County, CA, for the acquisition, preservation and development of open space, parks, trails, and waterways -- $ 125 million in DeKalb County, GA, for parks and green space -- $ 80 million in Houston, TX, for acquisitions of and additions and improvements to parks and recreational facilities -- $ 68.5 million in McHenry County, IL, for open space, wildlife habitats, recreation and water supply protection -- $ 60 million in Harris County, TX, for acquisition and development of parks

"Americans continue to support public land conservation to a dramatic extent," said Will Rogers, President of TPL. "As in recent years, voters across the country are eager to protect the unique landscapes of their communities, and they are willing to pay for it."

"People vote for land protection for one very good reason -- open space is a vital part of their everyday lives, and they see it going away," said LTA Acting President Andrew Zepp. "The large number of successful ballot measures shows that voters want to use their hard-earned tax dollars to save these open lands."

Results in 2001 continue a trend in support for open space at the ballot box evidenced in recent years: -- In 2000, voters approved 174 of 209 local and state open space measures, for a passage rate of 83 percent, creating $ 7.5 billion in new funding. -- In 1999, 92 of 102 measures succeeded, for a passage rate of 90 percent, crating $ 1.8 billion for open space. -- In 1998, 126 of 150 measures were passed by voters, for a passage rate of 84 percent, dedicating $ 8.3 billion in new funding for conservation.

"LandVote 2001," a partnership of TPL and LTA, is available upon request or on either organization's web site:
http:/ /www.tpl.org/ or http:/ /www.lta.org/.

TPL, established in 1972, is the only national nonprofit working exclusively to protect land for human enjoyment and well-being. TPL helps conserve land for recreation and spiritual nourishment and to improve the health and quality of life of American communities.

LTA, founded in 1982, promotes voluntary land conservation across the country and providing resources, leadership and training to the nation's 1,200-plus nonprofit, grassroots land trusts, helping them to protect important open spaces.

Press Release for:                              Media Contact:
Thursday, January 24, 2002                 Don Chen:  202/974-5131

Bush Administration Embraces Environmental Initiative; Whitman continues Smart Growth leadership.

EPA Administrator Christie Whitman tonight announced the Bush Administration's support for Smart Growth, an approach to growth that preserves open space and farmland while promoting investment in existing communities.  As Governor of New Jersey, Whitman was one of the nation's strongest proponents of Smart Growth.

"Addressing new environmental challenges requires us to manage all of our resources better - economic, social, and environmental - and manage them for the long term.  That is why Smart Growth is so important - it is critical to economic growth, the development of healthy communities, and the protection of our environment all at the same time," said Whitman, addressing the New Partners for Smart Growth conference in San Diego, CA.  "The Bush Administration - and the EPA especially - understands the importance of Smart Growth."

Administrator Whitman also announced two new initiatives to support local smart growth efforts.  The EPA will establish a National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, which will recognize communities and individual leaders who have been innovative and successfully applied smart growth principles.  A second initiative will help local planners better integrate brownfields redevelopment and open space preservation through grants and technical assistance.

"This may be the beginning of a proactive Bush environmental agenda, " said Don Chen, Executive Director of Smart Growth America.  "This announcement demonstrates the Administration's responsiveness to widespread concerns about urban sprawl and the demand for growth and investment." 
The Administrator's remarks come two weeks after President Bush signed the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, when he said, "One of the best ways to arrest urban sprawl is to develop brownfields and make them productive pieces of land, where people can find work and employment.  By one estimate, for every acre of redeveloped brownfields, we save four and a half acres of open space."
Smart Growth America is a national coalition of over 100 groups promoting a better way to grow; one that protects farmland and open space, revitalizes neighborhoods, keeps housing affordable and provides people with more transportation choices.

Jessica Love
202.331.7300 x3039

Smart Growth America.DOC