The UC Natural Reserve System will receive up to $10 million thanks to the passage of California Proposition 68, the Parks, Environment, and Water Bond, June 5. The proposition authorizes the state to issue $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund state and local parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection.
“We are extremely grateful to the people of California,” says Peggy Fiedler, executive director of the UC Natural Reserve System. “This vote of support will enable us to continue our work of protecting California’s natural heritage through research and teaching.”
The NRS can use the funds to acquire land, build research facilities, preserve state wildlife resources, and study climate change. Reserves and their administrative campus in must provide a dollar-for-dollar match for all funds. Matching funding may be in the form of real estate, grants, and in-kind services and materials.
“The passage of this bond comes at a particularly opportune time: the spring 2018 launch of our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign. Proposition 68 will enable us to stretch our precious capital campaign donations twice as far,” Fiedler says.
The state Wildlife Conservation Board will oversee the disbursement of bond funds to the NRS.
Proposition 68 marks the second time that the NRS has received matching funds from a statewide bond issue. In 2006, the reserve system became eligible to receive up to $25 million in matching funds from Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act.
With the $50 million made available by Proposition 84, the NRS was able to fund major improvements and land acquisitions at across the system.
“Proposition 84 was a game changer for the NRS,” Fiedler says. “With those funds, we have been able to install labs and classrooms, rebuild facilities destroyed by wildfire, and improve roads and buildings for the tens of thousands of students, researchers, and members of the general public who visit our reserves every year.”