FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2023
CONTACT: Kate Sayles
$2.5 MILLION APPROPRIATED FOR FARMLAND PRESERVATION IN RHODE ISLAND
RI Legislature approves funding to continue farmland preservation programs in state.
[Providence, RI] — On June 9th, the Rhode Island State Legislature voted to approve the State budget for Fiscal Year 2024. The budget included a $2.5 million appropriation from general revenues for farmland preservation, recommended by the House Finance Committee. The appropriation was included thanks to the advocacy efforts of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council, the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, other local nonprofits, a large outpouring of public support- especially from the agricultural sector, and the strong leadership efforts of bill sponsors Chairman DiPalma and Representative McGaw.
The appropriation was necessary because the original Governor’s FY 2024 budget included no funding to support the Agricultural Land Preservation Commission, which is responsible for the Farmland Preservation Program. This program has a backlog of over 40 farms that have been approved for permanent protection, and without funding, these farms would go unprotected. Rhode Island has the most expensive farmland in the country, making it extremely vulnerable to development. Federal funding for farmland protection requires matching funds from the state, meaning that federal funds would have been inaccessible to Rhode Island farmers.
About the Rhode Island Land Trust Council:
The Rhode Island Land Trust Council (RILTC) is a statewide coalition of over 45 land trusts. The RILTC works to permanently conserve open and natural lands in Rhode Island by supporting land trusts, promoting responsible use and stewardship of conserved lands, and advocating for sound land conservation policy. More information can be found on www.rilandtrusts.org.