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RALEIGH, N.C. (May 24) - The state's wildlife agency has joined the growing coalition asking the General Assembly to enact the Land and Water Conservation Bond Act of 2007.

A resolution issued by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is being sent this week to leadership of the state House and Senate, urging a $1 billion conservation investment over five years - less than one percent of the state's budget. The end result would save 740,000 acres of forests, farmland, trails, parks and other countryside, while protecting more than 6,000 miles of river and stream buffers statewide.

Demographic studies predict in the next 25 years an estimated 4 million more people will call North Carolina home than do today - a 50 percent population increase.

"This is a crucial time for action. Without significant funding for the state's conservation trust funds, North Carolina will lose thriving farms and forests, and all things that go with them," said Richard B. Hamilton, director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. "This innovative plan is needed, and needed now, to help protect our natural resources before they are irretrievably lost."

The group that created the plan is Land for Tomorrow, a partnership of conservationists, farmers, business leaders, local governments, health professionals and community grassroots support. The majority of funding would go to state-established land and water trust funds that are currently struggling to save critical habitats in the face of rapid development and skyrocketing land prices.
 
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