I am very sorry to report that despite a good effort on the part of the VNPS leadership and many of its members who wrote to their Delegates and Senators, the budget amendment to add $900,000 and seven full time staff for DCR’s Natural Heritage Program failed. There was no explicit vote, just an absence of the additional funding for the Natural Heritage Program when the key House and Senate Subcommittees published their respective earlier this month.
I want to send a special thanks to those who responded to repeated calls to take action. Many of you sent heartfelt messages to your Virginia legislators. I also truly appreciate the extra effort made by President Nancy Vehrs, Vice President Sally Anderson, and Potowmack Chapter members Suzanne Jenkins and Polly Oliver all of whom made the trip to Richmond to meet in person with their respective legislators as well as with key Subcommittee Members and Subcommittee staff.
We will conduct a post-mortem with important players on why the amendment did not succeed when the session is over: This with an eye to trying again in the next budget cycle. We will be back!
Marcia Mabee Bell