Government funding for land acquisition, particularly in Nassau County, has decreased significantly. If the Land Alliance is to be successful in protecting priority lands when they become available we must have the funds on hand to take credible and rapid action. We must grow the Conservation Action Fund (CAF) significantly to allow the Land Alliance to protect endangered parcels of land. The CAF will also serve as a source of matching funds for future government efforts (such as bonds) that will require matches and/or where availability of outside funds will allow strategic parcels to be moved to the top of the acquisition priority list. Our intent is to continually replenish the fund through subsequent fundraising.
There are approximately 150,000 acres in the Land Alliance designated area. Based on our research there are approximately 20,000 acres that are not fully developed and considered conservation-worthy because of the environmental resources they contain. Conservation-worthy lands are defined as wetlands, farmlands, forested areas, meadows and fields. Priority is given to lands located in the Special Groundwater Protection Area (SGPA), adjacent to previously protected land and lands that have steep slopes, dense tree cover, native or endangered plant or animal species and recreational potential.
In our first ten years the Land Alliance has been instrumental in the protection of nearly 1,000 acres of land through a variety of conservation tools. By 2020, we hope to protect an additional 1,500 acres for a total of 2,500 acres.
A current example of how we could benefit from a Conservation Action Fund can be seen through our work on the DeForest Williams campaign.