Whether you know it or not, the Heritage Fund has made life better for you, for families and for Arizona. In the past 10 years, the Heritage Fund has paid for safe playground equipment for our children, new parks and trails, the reintroduction of endangered species into Arizona, the restoration of historic buildings, the conservation of wild and open spaces and critical habitat for animals. More than $200 million has been invested in Arizona’s environmental and cultural resources — just as voters intended when the Heritage Fund was overwhelmingly approved at the polls.
The Heritage Fund consists of a portion of Arizona state Lottery money. It was established by initiative in 1990 and passed by a margin of nearly two-to-one. The money generated — $20 million per year in the early years — is split between the Parks and Game and Fish departments.
Unfortunately, 1998 was the last year the fund received $20 million, but not because of a decline in Lottery sales. In fact, the Lottery has had its best five years ever. But because of changes in allocation formula, more revenue is sent directly to the state’s General Fund. The effect has been to cut the Heritage Fund dramatically. The latest hit was $10.2 million taken to cover the state’s 2003 budget shortfalls — money that had been earmarked to save wildlife habitat.
Even if you aren’t interested in protecting Arizona’s animals and wild places, you should know that Heritage Fund grants have served as a direct economic engine for reinvestment in our communities. The fund’s matching grants help communities stimulate tourism and related industries, serve youth at risk and promote sports and outdoor-related resources.
Don’t let the state budget crisis destroy the Heritage Fund. Now — more than ever — we need sound financial planning and a focus on Arizona’s future. That means investing in the preservation of our cultural, recreational and environmental treasures. Why cut programs that encourage tourism, support our state parks and revitalize rural communities≠
In even the hardest times, economists say it’s important to save just a little bit of money for the future. We are not asking for additional funds. We are asking the Legislature to resist the easy fix of raiding the Heritage Fund — allow the fund to be used as the voters intended — an investment in our resources, our families and our communities. An investment in our future.
Finally, we are asking the voters to call their legislators and the governor to let their voices be heard in support of the Heritage Fund.
Arizona Heritage Alliance
Animal Defense League of Arizona
Arizona Advocacy Network
Arizona Antelope Foundation
Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society
Arizona Clean & Beautiful
Arizona Deer Association
Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Fund Public Advisory Committee
Arizona League of Conservation Voters
Arizona Parks & Recreation Association
Arizona Preservation Foundation
Arizona State Horsemen’s Association
Arizona Trail Association
Arizona Wildlife Federation
County Line Riders of Catalina
Casa Malpais Archaeological Site – Springerville, AZ
Desert Awareness Committee of Carefree/Cave Creek
Desert Foothills Land Trust
Environmental Fund for Arizona
Florence Preservation Foundation Living Rivers Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, Tucson
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix
Phoenix Mountain Preservation Council
Pima Trails Association
Prescott Fine Arts Association
Save Our Sonoran
Snowflake Heritage Foundation
Snowflake/Taylor Chamber of Commerce
Snowflake Tourism Inc.
The Nature Conservancy
White Mountain Rod and Gun Club
White Tanks Concerned Citizens, Inc.
Winslow Historic Preservation Commission
Wildlife Conservation Council
Yavapai Trails Association
Yuma Audubon Society
Yuma Valley Rod & Gun Club
City of Flagstaff
Town of Snowflake
Town of Springerville
Town of Taylor
Town of Queen Creek
Mayor James L. Boles, Winslow
Mayor Kay Dyson, Springerville
Dr. Charles A. Hoffman, Archaeology International
Mark Richwine, director city of Tempe Parks and Recreation
Elisabeth Ruffner, Prescott
Suzanne Pfister, chairwoman, Arizona State Parks Board
Elizabeth Stewart, Arizona State Parks Board
John Hays, Arizona State Parks Board
Joe Carter, commissioner, Arizona Game & Fish Commission
Hays Gilstrap, commissioner, Arizona Game & Fish Commission
Joe Melton, commissioner, Arizona Game & Fish Commission
Mike Golightly, commissioner, Arizona Game & Fish Commission
Ron Stoddard, Tempe
Jane Zukowski, Winslow
Eileen Townsend & Lisa Brazil International House, Globe
Barbra Crawford-OBrien, Carefree / Cave Creek
Samuel D. OBrien, Carefree/Cave Creek
Linda Z. LeBlang
Joanna Scruggs, manager, Arizona Public Lands Information Center
Phred Bartholomaei, Blue Mesa Studios
Margerie Green, president, Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd.
Sandie Smith, Pinal County supervisor
Bill Porter, chairman Arizona State History Convention, member Arizona State Parks
Board, past president Arizona
Anne E. Coe, chairman, Superstition Area Land Trust
Rosemary Shearer, president emeritus, Superstition Area Land Trust
Jon Fugate, Yuma
Brian Pinney, Chandler
Les Cherow, D. V. M.
Don Arganbright, professor of forestry