Presentation on theme: "REPORT FROM SACRAMENTO : NAVIGATING A CHANGING LANDSCAPE PRESENTATION TO BAY AREA OPEN SPACE COUNCIL BY LESLIE FRIEDMAN JOHNSON CONSERVATION STRATEGY GROUP."— Presentation transcript:
REPORT FROM SACRAMENTO : NAVIGATING A CHANGING LANDSCAPE PRESENTATION TO BAY AREA OPEN SPACE COUNCIL BY LESLIE FRIEDMAN JOHNSON CONSERVATION STRATEGY GROUP MAY 12, 2011 TITLE
The New “Normal” The past 10 years we have had unprecedented resources for open space and conservation – mostly resources bonds: Props 12, 13, 40, 50 and 84 Have come to think of this as “normal”—but it may have just been a blip
Current Situation State is out of money – huge deficits Going to get worse before it gets better Zero sum game: natural resources needs being weighed against needs of children, elderly, sick
Current Situation Conservation programs and agencies—though a tiny part of state budget—will take a hit in the near term Even existing dedicated bond funds held up When state begins spending again, natural resources likely to be last priority Stiff competition for what little there is
Bond Funds Dwindling State Coastal Conservancy Statewide Prop 84- $7 million of $135 million left San Francisco Bay Area Prop 84 -$21 million of $108 million left Department of Conservation California Farmland Conservancy Program Prop 84 -fully committed California River Parkways Program Fully appropriated. One more competitive grant cycle in 2011 for $28-$30 million from Prop 84
Bond Funds Dwindling Wildlife Conservation Board Propositions 12, 40, and 50 – virtually gone $330 million Prop 84 left. WCB estimates their remaining bond funds will last for three more years. WCB Rangeland, Grazing, Grassland funding is fully committed. WCB Oak Woodlands Management Plan funding is fully committed. WCB Habitat Conservation Fund money -$20 million/yr until 2020
Immediate Effect on Open Space State Park closures New acquisitions more difficult: “can’t afford to manage what we have let alone protect more” Williamson Act on the ropes - 16 million acres State bond money tighter, slower and drying up
What do the voters think?
More than 2/3 of voters think state is on the WRONG TRACK On an overall basis, do you think things in California are going in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track? Source: FM3 Statewide Surveys
These negative attitudes are driven by concern about the economy. Source: PPIC Survey, June 2010 “Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 21 months we will have good times financially or bad times?
California voters strongly believe we can have a clean environment and strong economy at the same time… 4. I am going to read you a pair of statements. Please tell me which statement comes closest to your own view, even if neither of the statements matches your views exactly. We can have a clean environment and a strong economy at the same time without having to choose one over the other. Sometimes a clean environment and a strong economy are in conflict and we must choose one over the other. Both/Neither/DK OR
…but if forced to choose, prioritized the economy by a wide margin. And if you had to choose between a clean environment and a strong economy, which would you choose: the environment or the economy?
What Next? The Good News: State revenues starting to pick up But: Everyone is looking for money…
New Funding Sources Tried Prop 21 - swamped by anti-government/anti- tax tsunami (but did pass in Bay Area) Exploring what if anything might work in 2012 Water bond slated for 2012 ballot probably needs to be rewritten – and will depend on Delta solution
New Funding Sources Regional funding measures are probably important part of next round funding round But…regions are different – you happen to live in a good one And…regional approach doesn’t solve statewide problem: many of the important places and species don’t co-locate with supportive constituencies
Other Opportunities Billions being spent on mitigation – often project by project. Opportunity to do Regional Mitigation Plans to focus these funds. Align conservation and open space planning with infrastructure planning Strategic Growth Council/SB 375 Sustainable Community Plans – should drive creation of plans that will help both avoid impacts and channel mitigation and other funds
Conclusion Emerging theme: Sustainable future based on green economy Clean, renewable energy Livable cities Clean, sustainable water Preparing for the “new normal:” New alliances, new business models and a new way of visualizing and articulating our business