ADK applauds Governor Cuomo for maintaining wildland and recreational access protections in 2021-2022 executive budget proposal

Albany, NY – January 20, 2021 – In a series of State of the State presentations last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his plan to “Reimagine, Rebuild, and Renew” New York. ADK was pleased to see that the Governor’s vision for renewal includes $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and $500 million for clean water infrastructure. The proposal also includes $75 million in capital funding for NYS Department of Environmental Conservation through the “NY Works” program and $110 million (each year for 4 years) in capital funding for NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.

“These funds support crucial public land protection and stewardship efforts, including trail maintenance, educational outreach, and the Summit Stewardship Program,” said Cathy Pedler, ADK Director of Advocacy. “With the ongoing pandemic and escalating climate crisis, we must maintain environmental programs and funding that improve public health, safeguard clean water, strengthen the economy, and allow New Yorkers to connect with the great outdoors.”

Historically, environmental programs have been a driver of New York’s economic recovery, supporting hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and more than $40 billion in economic activity each year. As we see it combating COVID and climate change by investing in our public lands will make our communities and our economy stronger and healthier.

“Last year we saw just how important public lands are to New Yorkers. In the midst of a pandemic, people turned to New York’s public lands and waters to find safe places to relax, recreate, and maintain their health,” said Michael Barrett, ADK Executive Director. “We thank the governor for supporting these resources and hope to see further investments into the Forest Preserve so that New Yorkers can continue to enjoy the resource safely and responsibly for generations to come.”