Massachusetts DCR Budget Alert

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

DCR Action Alert 2018

The Massachusetts State Legislature is deciding the budget for the Department of Conservation and Recreation which manages our State’s Forests and Parks.

Budget cuts have cost DCR nearly 400 full-time positions (30% of its workforce) in the last seven years. DCR currently has 839 full-time equivalent staff, down from 1,279 in 2008. These devastating budget cuts have led to closed and poorly maintained facilities, lack of forest and park staff and almost no trail maintenance.

To restore DCR to a higher llevel of effectiveness DCR needs more money.

Last month NEMBA asked you to contact your State representative. Now the battle is in the Senate.

The Senate Way & Means Committee released their FY19 budget last week. There is again promising news to share. And again, it’s time to make a call.

The DCR State Parks and Recreation line is funded at $43.2 million in the Senate Ways & Means budget. This is good news, as it would provide a $2M increase over the Governor’s proposed budget and would help reverse staffing and ongoing cuts in recent years.

But it can be better! That's because Senators Gobi and Rush have filed an amendment to increase the line item to $45.2 million. NEMBA appreciates their leadership and it’s time to for us ask other State Senators to co-sponsor and vote in support of their amendment!

We urge you to call your State Senator today and ask them to co-sponsor and vote for Amendment #925, filed by Senators Gobi and Rush, to increase State Parks & Recreation (2810-0100) line item to $45,220,992.

The debate on the Senate’s FY19 budget starts on Monday 5/21. Call your Senator now and spread the word.

You can look up your State Senator and their phone number at wheredoivotema.com

DCR is responsible for the stewardship, management, and safety of our parks, beaches, forests, pools, dams, skating rinks, and campgrounds, totaling 450,000 acres of land across over 250 properties, including nearly 3,350 miles of natural surface trails in forests that also may protect drinking water supplies for millions of people in the Commonwealth.

This is more than just about mountain biking. It’s about improving our State’s outdoor experience.