Sign-On Letter: No Special Fund Transfers

Sign-On Letter: No Special Fund Transfers


Electronic Version Sent: July 22, 2017
Updated: August 31, 2017

Dear Members of the General Assembly,

As discussions continue on the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year budget, we, the undersigned business and community leaders, elected officials, and organizations, strongly urge you to protect special funds for conservation, recreation, and preservation programs critical to the protection of our land, water, and heritage.

We recognize current budget challenges, but we also recognize that the Commonwealth cannot achieve prosperity by cutting crucial investments in Pennsylvania’s future –  investments that bring lasting improvements to our communities and contribute so much to our economic and environmental health.

We request your leadership in opposing proposals that reduce or eliminate dedicated funding to programs that protect our land and water, strengthen our communities, and protect our families.

We want to emphasize and reiterate the importance of keeping intact the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund and the Farmland Preservation program.

Now more than ever, Pennsylvania needs to increase and optimize its investment in local efforts to protect our open space, preserve our family farms, support parks and recreation, and preserve our historic and cultural sites.

The investments made by these successful and time-tested programs in conservation, recreation, and preservation are proven to bolster the economy. For example, a Trust for Public Land study on the Keystone Fund found that for every $1 invested in land and water conservation, the Commonwealth saw a $7 return on investment in goods and services.

Public polls show strong, consistent, and bipartisan public support for programs that improve our quality of life, boost the economy, and protect the environment throughout Pennsylvania. A survey released by Penn State found that more than 90.7 percent of Pennsylvanians surveyed support increasing state funds dedicated to protecting rivers and streams; conserving open space, forests, natural areas and wildlife habitats; providing parks and trails; and preserving farmland.

The survey also found that more than three-quarters of respondents, 82.6 percent, would support increasing state funds to address these threats to our environments, even if it would cost the average household $10 more annually.

The people of Pennsylvania feel that these conservation, recreation, and preservation programs offer substantial value and must not be diminished.

We recognize the challenges ahead and look forward to working with you to ensure that funding for programs that protect our open space, preserve our family farms, support our parks and trails, and safeguard our historic treasures remain intact.

Thank you.

Andrew Heath, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition


Dave Swope, Chairman of the Board
Adams County Trout Unlimited 323

Christina Handley, President
Allegheny Aquatic Alliance

Jane Sheffield, President
Allegheny Ridge Corporation

Christopher J. Beichner, President & CEO
Tom Dougherty, VP of External Affairs
Allegheny Land Trust

Rebecca Zeyzus, Executive Director
Allegheny Watershed Alliance

Will Callaway, Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager
Appalachian Mountain Club

Karen Lutz, Regional Director
Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Jim Vogt, President
Aquashicola/Pohopoco Watershed Conservancy

Will Brandau, President
Association of Warm Season Grass Producers

Greg Goldman, Executive Director
Audubon of Pennsylvania

Jim Bonner, Executive Director
Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania

Peggy Morrison Outon, Executive Director
Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management

Ken Hemphill, Director
Beaver Valley Preservation Alliance

Hazel A. Bilka
Bellwood Antis Community Trust, Inc.

Kimberly Murphy, President
Berk Nature

Sarah Clark Stuart, Executive Director
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Thomas Smithwick, President
Big Spring Watershed Association

Janis B. Long
Blacklick Creek Watershed Association

Bruce Erb, Commissioner
Terrence Tomassetti, Commissioner
Blair County Board of Commissioners

Christopher Clouser, President
BluAcres, LLC

Robert Struble, Jr., Watershed Conservation Director
Brandywine Red Clay Alliance

Marcus S. Berg, Board Member
Buffalo Creek Watershed

Kathy Altmann, President
Bushkill Stream Conservancy

Kevin Boozel, Commissioner
Butler County Board of Commissioners

Lori Reed, Chair
Phillip Jones, Commissioner
Cameron County Board of Commissioners

Wayne E. Nothstein, Chairman
Tom J. Gerhard, Vice Chairman
William J. O’Gurek, Commissioner
Carbon County Board of Commissioners

Bernard Survil, Executive Director
Care of Creation

Ed Wytovich, President
Catawissa Creek Restoration Association

Anna N. Yelk, Executive Director
Central Pennsylvania Conservancy

Michael Pipe, Chair
Mark Higgins, Commissioner
Centre County Board of Commissioners

Harry Campbell, Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, PA Chapter

Kathi Cozzone, Commissioner
Chester County Board of Commissioners

Dale Kotowski, President
Chestnut Ridge Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Larry J. Schweiger, President & CEO
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)

Lindsay Taylor, Director of Park & Recreation
City of Allentown

Joseph Minott, Executive Director
Clean Air Council

Steve Hvozdovich, PA Campaign Director
Clean Water Action

Robert Smeltz, Chairman
Jeffrey Snyder, Vice Chairman
Paul Conklin, Commissioner
Clinton County Board of Commissioners

Josh McNeil, Executive Director
Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania

Bill Kern, Executive Director
Countryside Conservancy

Sarah Clark Stuart, Chair
Circuit Trails Coalition

Aimee Erickson, Executive Director
Citizens Coal Council

Vincent DiFilippo, Commissioner
Jim Hertzler, Commissioner
Cumberland County Board of Commissioners

Elissa M. Garofalo, Executive Director
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc.

Diane Rosencrance, Executive Director
Delaware Highlands Conservancy

John Oliver, Former Secretary
Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

Russ Collins, President
Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Michael A. Dziak, President/CEO
Earth Conservancy

Robert Hughes, Executive Director
Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR)

Cynthia Kishinchand, Coordinator
East Falls Tree Tenders

Jason Lang, Director of Parks & Recreation
East Goshen Township, Chester County

Marty Detering, President
Elk Creek Watershed Association

Annette Schultz, Executive Director
Endless Mountains Heritage Region, Inc.

Vince Vicites, Chairman
Fayette County Commissioner

Andrew Pitz, Executive Director
French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust

Susan Taylor, Executive Director
Friends of the Delaware Canal

Alexis Franklin, Coordinator
Friends of McMichael Park

John Dawes, Executive Director
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds

Lee V. Fishel, Manager
Goldsboro Borough, York County

Victoria Laubach, Executive Director
Green Valleys Watershed Association

Laurie J. Goodrich, Director of Long-Term Monitoring
Hawk Mountain

Janie French, Executive Director
Headwaters Charitable Trust

Jeff Marshall, President
Heritage Conservancy

Tom Hodges, Board President
Sean Brady, Executive Director
Hollow Oak Land Trust

Dee Dee Brown, Mayor
Huntingdon Borough, Huntingdon County

Jeff Thomas, Commissioner
Huntingdon County Board of Commissioners

Victoria E. Michaels, Executive Director
Independence Conservancy

Rodney Ruddock, Commissioner
Indiana County Board of Commissioners

Janis B. Long
Indiana County Farmland Preservation Board

Joseph Neville, Executive Director
Keystone Trails Association

Craig Lukatch, President
Lacawac Sanctuary

Joseph J. Corcoran, Executive Director
Lackawanna Heritage Valley National & State Heritage Area

David Skellie, President
Lake Erie Region Conservancy

Eugene Garber, Chair
Lancaster County Agricultural Board

Craig Lehman, Commissioner
Lancaster County Board of Commissioners

Philip R. Wenger, President & CEO
Lancaster County Conservancy

Karen Martynick, Executive Director
Lancaster Farmland Trust

Jo Ellen Litz, Commissioner
Lebanon County Board of Commissioners

Dr. Percy Dougherty, Commissioner
Dan Hartzell, Commissioner
Lehigh County Board of Commissioners

Olga Herbert, Executive Director
Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor

Susan L. Huba, Executive Director
Loyalhanna Watershed

Rick Mirabito, Commissioner
Lycoming County Board of Commissioners

Carol Parenzan, Riverkeeper
Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, Inc.

Kevin P. Kodish, Chairman
Stephen Dunkle, Commissioner
Robert Postal, Commissioner
Mifflin County Board of Commissioners

Val Arkoosh, Chair
Montgomery County Board of Commissioners

Donna Holdorf, Co-Lead
Monongahela River Towns Program

Kenneth A. Holdren, Chairman
Dan W. Hartman, Vice Chairman
Trevor S. Finn, Commissioner
Montour County Board of Commissioners

Beverly Braverman, Executive Director
Mountain Watershed Association

Amanda John, Program Manager, PA & DE
National Parks Conservation Association

Donna Holdorf, Executive Director
National Road Heritage Corridor

Molly Morrison, President
Natural Lands

Mark Szybist, Senior Program Advocate
Natural Resources Defense Council

Melinda Hughes, President
Nature Abounds

Brenda Smith, Executive Director
Nine Mile Run Watershed Association

Bill Moul, President
North Area Environmental Council

Jim MacKenzie
Octoraro Native Plant Nursery

John R. Phillips, II, President & CEO
Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism

Jack D. Miller, Chair
Otzinachson Regional Group, Sierra Club

Terri Dennison, Executive Director
PA Route 6 Alliance
PA Route 6 Tourist Association

Tina Manoogian-King, Recreation Director
Palmyra Area Recreation & Parks Commission

David Masur, Executive Director

Rev. Sandra Strauss, Director of Advocacy & Ecumenical Outreach
Pennsylvania Council of Churches

Charlie Charlesworth, President
Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited

Davitt Woodwell, President
Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Richard A. Martin, Coordinator
Pennsylvania Forest Coalition

Richard Lewis, Vice President
Pennsylvania Forestry Association

Larry Williamson, Chairman
Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition

Jeffrey Barg, Director of Planning
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Andy Loza, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Land Trust Association

Gregg E. Robertson, Government Relations
Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association

Michele Richards, President
Pennsylvania Master Naturalist

Marci Mowery, President
Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation

Kirk S. Rakos, President, Board of Directors
Tim Herd, CEO
Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society

Tim Schumann, President
Peters Creek Watershed Association

Walter Tsou, MD., Executive Director
Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility

Meg Cheever, President & CEO
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Mindy Crawford, Executive Director
Preservation Pennsylvania

Tom Sexton, Director Northeast Office
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Robert Cross, President
Responsible Drilling Alliance

Lee Walker, President
Rural Area Concerned Citizens

William Reichert, President
Schuylkill Headwaters Associations, Inc.

Joseph R. Syrnick, President & CEO
Schuylkill River Development Corporation

Elaine Schaefer, Executive Director
Schuylkill River Heritage Area

Joanne Kilgour, Chapter Director
Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter

Kristy Owens, Parks & Recreation Manager
Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County

Malcolm L. Derk, Vice Chairman
Snyder County Board of Commissioners

James Moses, President
Somerset County Conservancy

Katie Hess, Director
South Mountain Partnership

Gail Kulp, Executive Director
Susquehanna Greenway Partnership

Mark Platts, President
Susquehanna Heritage

Court Gould, Executive Director
Sustainable Pittsburgh

Tim Kearney, Mayor
Swarthmore Borough, Delaware County

Gwendolyn Lacy, Executive Director
The Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County

Kyle Shenk, Pennsylvania State Director
The Conservation Fund

Ron Ramsey, Sr. Policy Advisor
The Nature Conservancy, PA Chapter

Stacy McCormack, Mid-Atlantic Director
The Trust for Public Land

Jim Engel, Executive Director
Tinicum Conservancy

Ann M. Toole, CPRP
Toole Recreation Planning

Danielle Crumrine, Executive Director
Tree Pittsburgh

David Kinney, Mid-Atlantic Policy Director
Trout Unlimited

Lance Bowes, District Manager
Venango Conservation District

Jeff Eggleston, Commissioner
Warren County Board of Commissioners

Gary R. Peacock
Watershed Alliance of York, Inc.

Nate Pritchard, Vice President
Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley

Thomas D. Saunders, President & CEO
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Betty Reefer, Director
Westmoreland County Agricultural Land Preservation

Mary Tate, Executive Director
Westmoreland Land Trust

Christopher Kocher, President
Wildlands Conservancy

Bonnie Van Allen, Executive Director
Willistown Conservation Trust

Susan Byrnes, President
Doug Hoke, Vice President
Christopher Reilly, Commissioner
York County Board of Commissioners

Ted Kovall, President
Yough River Trail Council

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  • Trackback from - Keep PA Growing GreenerKeep PA Growing Greener

    […] In addition to the statement released today, the Coalition distributed a sign-on letter to House members last week urging them to reject environmental special fund transfers. The letter garnered the support of more than 125 organization and community leaders, along with 34 County Commissioners. A copy of the letter can be found on the Coalition website at: […]

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