Forever Green Tennessee!
In the midst of the destructive bills that must be stopped every year at the General Assembly it can be easy to forget about positive efforts. A broad coalition is working on
Forever Green Tennessee
. This is a long term effort aimed at conserving clean water, historic properties and farmland. This year, it takes the form of a $35 million dollar budget amendment #152 in the House and #81 in the Senate.
We must act now to protect our vulnerable lands. Right now there are 6.6 million people living in Tennessee and in a couple decades there will be 9 million. This population boom will place incredible pressure on Tennessee's wild places, working farms, and historic assets. We must take action before we lose more priceless Tennessee treasures.
What is Good for the Outdoors is Good for the Economy
- As more and more people call Tennessee home there will be increased strain on our infrastructure. Protecting headwaters is one of the most effective ways to protect our drinking water. After all, the easiest way to clean something is to keep it from getting contaminated in the first place. Forested corridors around waterways are nature's filtration system.
- Outdoor recreation generates $2.5 billion in earned income and $535 million in state and local tax revenues. Purchases made possible by this budget amendment will help protect some of the most visited places in the state as well as create new tourist destinations.
- Our growing population threatens historic locations. If a battlefield gets developed, it is lost forever. Heritage tourists spend more than other travelers, bringing much needed revenue to all parts of Tennessee.
- Working farms are under pressure from development. Between 2007 and 2014 about 500,000 acres of farmland were lost in Tennessee. Through a voluntary program, we can secure conservation easements to protect the farmland that feeds us all.
We need your help to make it a reality. Funds for budget amendments are always incredibly competitive and if legislators' constituents aren't calling them, they become that much harder to convince. Please email or call the members of the Finance Committees and the Governor to tell them that you support Senate Budget Amendment #81 and House Budget Amendment #152 to Forever Green Tennessee!