Vote For Orcas and Salmon – No on I-1033

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Photo by Stewart Macintyre

From The Nature Conservancy:

“Initiative 1033, or I-1033, is a statewide measure headed for the November ballot. This measure could have a devastating effect on Washington’s precious landscapes. I-1033 threatens to undermine the quality of our air and water and the natural treasures that we, as conservationists, hold dear.

Locking in “The Worst of Times”
I-1033 would limit the growth in revenue each year for state, county and city general funds through an arbitrary formula based on inflation and population growth. At face value, it may sound reasonable – but the impact of this radical proposal is anything but reasonable.

Because of today’s poor economic conditions, spending for natural resources in Washington has already been cut severely. I-1033 would permanently lock in place those dramatically low funding levels for conservation and the environment at both the state and local levels. It would also make it nearly impossible to restore funding to earlier, higher levels, even when economic times improve. The result of I-1033 would be more cuts to conservation and environmental projects.

Unintended consequences for Washington’s natural heritage
In the campaign, you’ll likely hear a great deal about this measure’s damaging effects on education, health care and Washington’s economy–all are very real issues. We also want you to know what this initiative would do to Washington’s natural areas:

* It will lead to more park closures, as parks agencies are forced to cut costs.
* It will lead to reduced quality of air and water, as dollars to enforce important rules protecting our rivers, lakes, streams and Puget Sound will be harder to come by.
* It will lead to reduced conservation of natural areas and open space around the state, with fewer funds to protect important fish and wildlife habitat and working farmlands, as well as less money to care for the places we treasure.

Learning from the past
Colorado voters passed a similar measure several years ago, so we know a lot about what the passage of I-1033 would mean. It led to deep cuts in funding for state parks, public schools and children’s health care. It did so much damage that, in 2005, Coloradans voted to suspend the law altogether.

Taking a stand

The Nature Conservancy doesn’t often weigh in on ballot measures. But after much deliberation, we have joined the No on I-1033 Campaign, a broad-based coalition of conservation groups, business leaders, labor organizations, senior groups and others opposed to I-1033. By supporting the No on I-1033 Campaign, we’re underscoring our commitment to our life-affirming mission and to our collective responsibility as citizens and conservationists.

We hope you’ll join the Conservancy–and a growing community of people committed to the quality of life and the environment in Washington–by standing up for the future of our state and saying No to Initiative 1033. Our choices today will shape our lives and landscapes of tomorrow. We can help to ensure a future that includes clean water, working farms, intact forests and vibrant wild lands.” [From The Nature Conservancy]

Calf L112 with its mother L86 (Photo by Dave Ellifrit)

Please consider the four new orca calves when you cast your vote.

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