Hiking trail through laurel at Minnewaska State Park Preserve.As the Legislature and Governor work on the next state budget, Friends of New York’s Environment, a statewide coalition of more than 120 organizations, including the Trail Conference, is urging them to protect what we love most about New York by:

• Restoring the Environmental Protection Fund to $222M in order to address the significant needs that exist around the state, including the need to honor previous commitments to protect our air, land and water.

• Ensuring funding dedicated to the environment is spent on the environment, and not swept into the General Fund under the pretense of balancing the budget.

• Ensuring that New York’s environmental agency budgets (ie. the Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation) are no longer disproportionately reduced. Funding and staffing levels for environmental agencies must be addressed so that they can continue to implement important programs that protect public health, manage valuable natural resources, keep our parks open, and ensure business activities are permitted in New York.