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Tracking the success of conservation ballot measures
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Tracking the success of conservation ballot measures

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This slide deck and dashboard illustrate the fate of conservation ballot measures since 1988, based on the Trust for Public Land’s LandVote database.

This slide deck and dashboard illustrate the fate of conservation ballot measures since 1988, based on the Trust for Public Land’s LandVote database.


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  • Open space bonds and other ballot measures are a critical source for conservation funding in the United States.
  • Narrative: Since 1988, American voters have approved nearly 1,800 ballot measures that have generated more than $57 billion for conservation. Funding peaked in 2008 when some $8 billion was approved. The average funding per conservation measure approved has varied considerably from year to year.Source: Trust for Public LandURL: https://www.quickbase.com/db/bbqna2qct?a=dbpage&pageID=10Notes:
  • Narrative: Conservation measures generally do well at the polls, in part because backers tend to avoid placing them on ballots when the chances of passage are low, such as during a recession. The green line in this graphic shows the percentage of conservation-related ballot measures that passed each year. On average 74 percent are approved, but in some years the rate has approached 90 percent. The number of measures tends to be lower in off-year elections and peaked in 2004. In recent years, with the economy in the doldrums, fewer measures have been placed on ballots.Source: Trust for Public LandURL: https://www.quickbase.com/db/bbqna2qct?a=dbpage&pageID=10Notes:
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    • 1. Tracking the success ofconservation ballot measures 3/14/2013
    • 2. Conservation funding from ballot measures $180 $10 Conservation funds approved Funds per measure $9 $160 $8 $140 $7 Billions (2012 dollars) Millions (2012 dollars) $120 $6 $100 $5 $80 $4 $60 $3 $40 $2 $20 $1 $- $- Source: Trust for Public Land 3/14/2013 2
    • 3. Conservation ballot measures: number and success 100.0% 250 Number of measures 90.0% Passage rate 80.0% 200 Number of Measures Passed 70.0% 60.0% 150Percent 50.0% 40.0% 100 30.0% 20.0% 50 10.0% 0.0% 0 Source: Trust for Public Land 3/14/2013 3
    • 4. Download more slides and other resources ecowest.org 3/14/2013 4