Voters pass dozens of environmental ballot measures across the country

The approved initiatives will raise billions for land and water conservation.

November 8, 2020, 7:24 PM

The importance of nature and the environment was evident this election as voters across the country approved more than two dozen conservation ballot measures.

The initiatives include nearly $3.7 billion in new funding for land conservation, parks, climate resiliency and habitat, according to The Trust for Public Land Action Fund.

The organization described the nationwide interest in conservation as a "huge success" and "a resounding sign of the importance of parks and nature for communities across the country."

The Colorado River wraps around Horseshoe Bend in Page, Ariz., March 30, 2015.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, FILE

Here are some of the most notable measures that were passed:

$239 million bond for San Francisco parks and recreation

The $487.5 million bond in Proposition A in San Francisco will direct $239 million to parks and open space.

Climate sales tax in Denver

Measure 2A in Denver will introduce a "climate sales tax," a quarter-cent sales tax increase that is expected to generate $720 million for a variety of climate-related programs.

The initiative is "an unprecedented move for a major city in the U.S.," according to The Trust for Public Land Action Fund.

The measure also mandates that funding "should maximize investments in communities of color, under resourced communities and communities most vulnerable to climate change."

Clean water for the Colorado River

Property taxes will increase for residents in the Colorado River Water Conservation District to protect streams and improve water use as part of Ballot Issue 7A. The measure could potentially generate $100 million over 20 years.

People practicing social distancing enjoy the weather at Washington square park in San Francisco, July 31, 2020.
Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Environmental programs in three Florida counties

Three Florida counties will raise property taxes to pay for environmental programs.

Residents in Volusia County voted to increase property taxes to renew the Volusia Forever land conservation program and pay for the Environmental, Cultural, Historic and Outdoor Recreation program. The measure is expected to generate $100 million.

Increased property taxes in Collier County are expected to raise $287 million for the acquisition and management of environmentally sensitive lands.

In Manatee County, a property tax increase is expected to produce $108 million for the acquisition, improvement and management of land to protect water quality, preserve wildlife habitat and provide parks.

Tax provision in Montana marijuana initiative

When Initiative I-190 was passed in Montana, it included a provision to allocate 50% of of tax proceeds from recreational marijuana sales to land conservation.

The measure is expected to generate $360 million over 20 years.

Read the complete list of conservation initiatives that passed on The Trust for Public Land Action Fund's website.

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