Land protection efforts are facing cuts in Orange County, and we need your help ASAP

June 4, 2020
Orange County’s Board of Commissioners is considering amendments to the county’s Capital Investment Plan that would postpone funding for the Lands Legacy Program and Conservation Easement Program for many years. This funding is critical to protect land, and Orange County’s program has served as a model for other counties in the area. Cutting this funding will make it harder for land trusts in the region to protect natural habitats and clean water. It is more clear than ever that public lands in Orange County are important to our community’s mental and physical wellbeing. TLC has been so grateful for Orange County’s thoughtful efforts and support for land conservation, and we urge you to help us convey the importance of this funding to Orange County commissioners.

Here’s what you can do:

We have heard from so many of you about how much you appreciate TLC preserves, especially Johnston Mill and Brumley Forest. Please share that gratitude with Orange County Commissioners in your comments to them.Submit a written comment to ocbocc@orangecountync.gov by 3 p.m. today. By clicking here, you can access a pre-written email that you can edit.

The Board of Commissioners is holding a virtual public hearing tonight. Request to speak at tonight’s meeting by emailing ocpubliccomment@orangecountync.gov by 3 p.m. today.

When submitting a comment or requesting to speak, be sure to follow Orange County’s instructions for submitting public comments. In your email, include:

– “For the Budget Public Hearing on June 4, 2020”
– Your name, address, email and phone number
– Your comments

Review the meeting agenda.

Attend the meeting. It starts at 7 p.m. and can be accessed here or watched on channels 1301 or 97.6 (Spectrum Cable).

Why it matters:

  • We’ve heard from so many of you who have found solace and peace at nature preserves and on trails, many of which — including Brumley Forest Nature Preserve and Johnston Mill Nature Preserve — were supported by funding from Orange County’s land protection efforts.
  • The Lands Legacy Program and Conservation Easement Program have helped leverage more than $8 million in funding from grants and landowner donations since 2000, resulting in 4,000 acres of land conserved in Orange County.
  • Funding these programs is critical for receiving matching grant funding from the state and other organizations.
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