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Heritage Fund Makes Life Better In Arizona — Just What Voters Intended

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.

Pam Jones,

Arizona Heritage Alliance

Animal Defense League of Arizona

Anglers United

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

Audubon Arizona

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

Pinetop-Lakeside TRACKS

Prescott Fine Arts Association

Save Our Sonoran

Sierra Club

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

Individuals

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

Historical Society

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

Sweat Magazine

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