Dear Lancaster County Conservancy Supporter:
We are deeply grateful to the County for the funds it has provided to protect high priority natural lands in past years. Without the County’s support we would not have been able to preserve these important properties for public recreation, protect our limited forests, and ensure clean air and water for the people of Lancaster County:
o 876 acres Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve (2009–11)
o 74 acres Donegal Highlands (2009)
o 155 acres Chester Water Authority Lands (2008)
o 25 acres Buchter Tract on Texter Mountain (2009)
o 324 acres PPL River Hills (2010)
1,454 acres TOTAL (2008-11)
Working together, the County and the Conservancy have made great strides toward reaching the County’s open space goals and through this partnership the Conservancy has been able to provide local and regional public preserves and parks where none existed. Ours has been an excellent partnership that benefits the people of Lancaster County now and for generations. It is a collaboration we are eager to continue. Due to budgetary constraints, the County has not been able to provide any funding support for natural lands protection since 2012.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO URGE COMMISSIONERS MARTIN, STUCKEY and LEHMAN
TO REINSTITUTE FUNDING SUPPORT OF NATURAL LANDS PROTECTION IN 2015!
One way for the Commissioners to do that is to allocate at least a portion of the funds the county is receiving from the Marcellus Shale drilling impact fees, for natural lands protection.
Writing a letter, sending an email or calling are all simple, powerful and respectful ways you can let the Commissioners know that you support funding natural lands protection in Lancaster County.
Here are some key points to include in your communication:
• Thank the Commissioners for the County’s past help in protecting natural lands. Their support has been tremendous and vital. Thank them for supporting keeping the Atlantic Sunrise project out of preserves and those few large forested tracts remaining in Lancaster County.
• Urge the Commissioners to adopt a balance in county grant funding among natural lands preservation, urban enhancements and farmland preservation. While we support funding farmland preservation efforts, there must be a balance that includes allocations to protect key natural lands.
• Highlight the benefits of protected forested lands: improved stream, river, and drinking water quality; improved air quality through carbon absorption by trees; enhanced property values; and rich recreational and educational opportunities for the public.
• Convey that Conservancy lands are open to the public 365 days a year free of charge and require no further public funds to maintain.
• Note that the County’s adopted Greenscapes Plan calls for protection of critical lands. The Conservancy is working to implement this adopted plan, but needs continued support of the county to achieve the goals set forth.
• The Conservancy significantly leverages county funds, matching with state and local funds at a ratio of at least 1:1, sometimes more.
These are your forests waiting to be protected. Please support the effort to build on our collective legacy. Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions about these lands, or our efforts to protect them.
Mike Burcin, CEO/COO
Contact information for our County Commissioners:
Office of the County Commissioners
150 North Queen Street
7th Floor, Suite 715
Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: (717) 299-8390
Address your letter to:
Attn: Commissioner Dennis P. Stuckey, Chairman
Attn: Commissioner Scott F. Martin, Vice-Chairman
Attn: Commissioner Craig E. Lehman
Lancaster County Conservancy – Board Decision Reached
The Lancaster County Conservancy’s board has reached a unanimous decision to not accept funds from the Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship program, launched by Williams Partners, the company seeking to build a natural gas pipeline in Lancaster County.
The following is a statement from Dick Minnich, Board Chair of the Lancaster County Conservancy.
“It is tough to turn away dollars that we desperately need to fulfill our mission.”
“In reaching our unanimous decision, the Lancaster County Conservancy’s board has given careful and deliberate consideration to the offer. We have spoken to our stakeholders including donors, community supporters, board members and staff, and have concluded that the acceptance of these funds does not align with our mission, which is to protect Lancaster County’s natural lands.”
“We respect the right of our community partners to individually evaluate the opportunity and to make the decision that is best for them. Because the Conservancy is the only local organization that protects the limited forested land remaining in Lancaster County, which are the same lands that will be permanently impacted by the construction of this pipeline, we stand firm in our decision to forgo the funding offer.”
“The Lancaster County Conservancy will continue to collaborate with local partners to provide educational outreach regarding the impact of the pipeline.”
Please navigate our website for more information on educational opportunities or ways to give to the Conservancy, or call 392-7891. Thank you.