While Minnesota’s leaders struggle to reach a budget solution, we must continue to let our legislators and the governor know that the budget must be fair and balanced — and protect the things Minnesotans value, including our Great Outdoors.
Earlier in the 2011 regular session, our legislators supported many provisions that threatened Minnesota’s land, air and water. Specifically, the environmental budget bill passed by the legislature made dramatic cuts to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources that would have undercut our state support for our outdoors and health, including:
-Reduced protection for the drinking water of two-thirds of the state’s population
-Reduced funding for forest management program
-Reduced testing of our lakes, rivers and streams
-Rolled back support for our parks and trails
-Eliminated funding for tracking human environmental health and biomonitoring
This assault on our Great Outdoors is unprecedented, and it’s not just happening in Minnesota: Throughout the country, other state and federal programs that protect our air, water and health are being slashed in favor of short-term budget fixes.
Instead, we must take a common sense approach to state and federal budget solutions that looks not only at cuts, but also at revenues.
This video by the State Environmental Leadership Program makes it clear that we need a balanced and thoughtful approach to reduce deficits and put federal and state finances back on sound footing. But we must ensure that the budget choices we make now protect our water, air and land so that we can pass on a safe and healthy America to future generations.
You can take action today by letting your legislators and Governor Dayton know that they must not allow disproportionate budget cuts to Minnesota’s Great Outdoors. Learn more here.