For Immediate Release: October 14, 2011
Pennsylvania Anglers Join Push for Growing Greener Funding
Municipalities in Adams, Bucks, Lancaster and Montgomery Counties Also Show Support
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Renew Growing Greener Coalition today announced that the following local chapters of Trout Unlimited have joined the statewide chapter in the push to restore state funding for Growing Greener:
- Columbia County
- Spring Creek (Centre County)
- Muddy Creek (York County)
- Forbes Trail (Westmoreland County)
- Chestnut Ridge (Fayette County)
- Lloyd Wilson (Clinton County)
- Forks of the Delaware (Lehigh Valley)
“The members of Trout Unlimited recognize the important role Growing Greener plays in their mission of conserving, protecting and restoring our streams and waterways,” said Andrew Heath, executive director of the Renew Growing Greener Coalition. “The Coalition urges the legislature to heed the public and allocate a portion of any revenues from a Marcellus Shale impact fee toward offsetting the statewide environmental impacts of natural gas drilling.”
The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited, which represents approximately 12,000 members across the Commonwealth, has been a supporting member of the Renew Growing Greener Coalition for the past year. These groups have signed the Coalition’s Statement of Support, which calls for a dedicated and sustainable source of revenue to support the renewal of Growing Greener.
They join more than 230 other organizations and groups that have also announced their support for renewing Growing Greener.
“More than 20 Trout Unlimited chapters in Pennsylvania have put Growing Greener funding to work on rivers and streams in local communities,” said Ken Undercoffer, chairman of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited. “Coldwater fisheries throughout the Commonwealth have benefited from that work and countless other Growing Greener-funded projects.”
Additionally, the Coalition announced that nine more municipalities have adopted resolutions in support of Growing Greener. They include:
- Butler Township, Adams County
- Germany Township, Adams County
- Buckingham Township, Bucks County
- Chalfont Borough, Bucks County
- Doylestown Township, Bucks County
- Quakertown Borough, Bucks County
- Lancaster City, Lancaster County
- Penn Township, Lancaster County
- Hatfield Township, Montgomery County
With these, 112 government entities, including 24 counties, that represent nearly 6.5 million Pennsylvanians have passed resolutions calling on the Governor and legislature to restore funding for Growing Greener.
Growing Greener is a bipartisan program established in 1999 under Governor Tom Ridge and later expanded by Governors Schweiker and Rendell. Since its establishment, Growing Greener has created a legacy of success, capping over 2,100 abandoned gas wells, preserving more than 33,700 acres of Pennsylvania’s family farmland, conserving more than 42,300 acres of threatened open space, adding 26,000 acres to state parks and forests, and restoring over 16,000 acres of abandoned mine lands.
Moreover, Growing Greener has contributed and leveraged billions of dollars to the Pennsylvania economy by helping to boost tourism, create jobs and generate revenue.
Yet despite the program’s accomplishments, funding for Growing Greener projects and grants fell from an average of approximately $150 million per year for the last six years to $27.3 million in the current state budget. This is more than an 80 percent reduction.
About the Renew Growing Greener Coalition The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is the Commonwealth’s largest coalition of conservation, recreation and environmental organizations representing nearly 350 organizations and government entities. For more information on the Coalition, visit www.RenewGrowingGreener.org.