Obama’s Budget is Good for Public Land

Over the next few weeks we'll be hearing from a range of stakeholders about how they feel President Obama's proposed $3.8 trillion budget will effect the nation.

One group that has already chimed in is the Trust for Public Land (TPL), which was quick to praise the proposed spending plan, issuing a press release on April 10 urging Congress to approve the budget, which includes a $600 million investment to the Land and Water Conversation Fund (LWCF), the main federal program for protecting land and ensuring outdoor recreation around the nation.

The Trust knows how difficult “Hanging on to the Land“ can be, to use the turn of phrase that titles Jeffrey Yuen and Greg Rosenberg's article on community gardens and their struggles for permanency in the latest issue of Shelterforce.

“Since 1965, LWCF has been helping to protect a variety of our favorite places across the nation, and none of the money comes from federal taxes,” TPL President Will Rogers said in the release. “By helping protect our national parks, seashores, trails and forests, as well as ensuring protection of working forests and ranches, the LWCF program also supports jobs in local communities.”

In 1999, “The Trust for Public Land and the New York Restoration Project stepped in to broker an 11th hour deal to avoid displacement of all 114 gardens” that were set to be auctioned under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Yuen and Rosenberg describe in Shelterforce. “However, 67 gardens were eventually destroyed during the Giuliani administration, serving as a bitter reminder that government ownership of land does not necessarily ensure permanent protection.”

The authors end the piece arguging that “now is the time to create a national pool of funds to acquire and permanently protect land for community gardens and other forms of urban agriculture.”

Will Obama's budget accomplish this? Tell us what you think!

(This post is part of a series on the president's 2014 budget.)

(Photo by Jeffrey Yuen)

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