» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 123 | NO. 40 | Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some Lawmakers Skeptical of $10M for Conservation Grants

By ERIK SCHELZIG | Associated Press Writer

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

NASHVILLE (AP) - Some lawmakers are expressing concern about approving another cash infusion for the state's Heritage Conservation Trust Fund amid tight budget conditions.

The trust fund created by Gov. Phil Bredesen is designed to conserve natural areas in the state. Bredesen, a Democrat, has asked lawmakers to approve $10 million in grant money for the program in the upcoming budget year.

But Sen. Diane Black on Tuesday asked Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke at which point the state will have spent enough money on the program.

"Year after year we hear that we need another $10 million and another $10 million," said Black, R-Gallatin. "My question is when do these $10 millions stop?"

"We are in a year where our dollars are so tight we have to make some decisions about our priorities, and I'd like to find out more about what our long-term plan is," she said.

Fyke responded that the state will have given enough grants when applications stop coming in.

The trust last year awarded 14 grants worth $17 million that are projected to protect about 22,000 acres.

Sen. John Wilder, D-Mason and a longtime critic of conservation programs, questioned what benefits the state derives from the grants.

"I don't agree that we should buy property in this fashion, I don't think it's state business," Wilder said. "I think we need it for parks and other things, but to buy woodlands - and not use it - is just not state business."

Fyke responded that about 90 percent of the trust's grants aren't used to buy land for the state, but rather to secure conservation easements.

"The state gets conservation," said Fyke. "The state guarantees that those sites will not be developed."

Projects eligible for grants include preservation of tracts for tourism and recreation, or to protect or restore physical, cultural, archaeological and environmental resources.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 65 366 17,721
MORTGAGES 70 417 23,068
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 76 4,504
BUILDING PERMITS 210 932 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 62 299 16,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 80 5,781
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 49 305 25,174
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 96 5,381

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.