Via the editorial page of the Citizen:
As noted previously on our opinion page, this has not been a particularly swell couple of years for efforts to secure a vote on land and water conservation bonds.
Last session, concerns about the level of state indebtedness caused legislators to back away from the bond plan, which would fund a comprehensive effort to save the “goodliest lands.”
Unless, there is a turnaround — and, perhaps, an epiphany or two — the same reasoning will win out this year even though there’s a growing state surplus and plenty of lust for bond debt for legislators’ pet projects.
Make no mistake: The bond debt argument is a straw man for an attempt to undermine conservation in the name of the bulldozer. It is political cover for those afeard of development PACs and it ought to be exposed for what it is.
Land for Tomorrow is not some pie-in-the-sky funding scheme. It has been endorsed by one of the largest, bipartisan coalitions put together, drawing in a wide range of farming, environmental, conservation and economic development constituencies. And it’s part of a long line of progressive and proactive environmental ideas that have become incorporated into this state’s public policy.
You have to wonder how similar efforts we take for granted would have fared if attempted in today’s climate. Would our coast be littered with sea walls and riprap and be fenced off for the privacy of the privileged? Would our rivers be perpetually fouled from hog lagoons and our mountains logged and peopled unrestrained?
Somehow, it was all right for the people to vote on the lottery. And it was just fine to put a referendum on the ballot for billions in construction for the university system.
So why not give us a chance to vote on this state’s future by securing it’s heritage lands and unique habitats for generations to come?
Tomorrow should belong to all of us.