The Virginia Senate will reconvene on May 14 to try to complete action on the state budget. Conservation advocates are working to increase funding for land conservation. For the Land Conservation Fund, the Governor’s budget proposed $4.5 million. The Senate cut it to $1.5 million and the House eliminated all funding for the first year and provided $4.5 million in the second year. Auduboners may want to urge their state senators to increase VLCF funding.
VLCF awards grants to localities to help fund the purchase of permanent conservation easements, open spaces, parklands, lands of historic or cultural significance, farmlands and forests and natural areas.
Since 2000, during 12 grant rounds, VLCF received 337 applications requesting almost $123 million in state funding, which was almost two-and-a-half times the available amount.
From 1999 to 2017, VLCF has awarded funding to 203 of the 337 grant applications, awarded more than $50.9 million to land conservation projects and helped protect more than 63,800 acres.