There is plenty of evidence that, even in the midst of a recession, Americans are willing to spend money to protect open space. According to a tally by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, a conservation group, voters approved two out of three open space bond issues across 11 states last week, including a $400 million “Green Acres” measure in New Jersey.
More federal dollars are needed to help complete long-pending acquisitions from Hawaii to Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades. The money would also help hard-pressed states, like New York, whose own land conservation program has been severely squeezed by huge budget shortfalls.
A guaranteed source of revenue for land and water conservation is something the original architects of the fund had in mind. It’s past time for Congress to honor their wish.