State approves $300 million EPF in state budget, significant boost to funding for land protection, invasive species control and state land stewardship
Protect the Adirondacks applauds the New York State budget being passed in Albany. This budget contains enhanced environmental funding in a $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Programs important to the Adirondack Park that received higher levels of funding include land protection ($40 million), invasive species control ($12 million), state land stewardship ($28 million), and climate smart community programs ($14 million).
“Protect the Adirondacks applauds Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature for funding the EPF at an historic high level. This funding will greatly benefit the rural communities and forever wild Forest Preserve across the Adirondacks,” said Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks. “This marks a recognition of the tremendous environmental threats facing New York and the great opportunities to protect open space, improve public recreation on state lands, and combat invasive species.”
The EPF funds a variety of environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, waterfront revitalization, solid waste management, state lands stewardship, and environmental justice projects, among other things.
One major drawback is that environmental spending at the Adirondack Park Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation was kept flat. Both agencies have been called upon to do with less for a number of years and the Adirondack Park would benefit from funding increases for both agencies.