Follow the Money


How much funding are state and local voters generating for parks and conservation? Nearly a decade ago, TPL’s Conservation Finance service launched the online database LandVote to answer this and other questions related to state and local conservation ballot measures.

Today anyone can go to LandVote to review conservation finance measures and results by year, state, and region along with the details of any of the 2,245 measures that have been placed on ballots and the 1,694 measures that have passed since 1988.

Each year since 2001, TPL publishes a printed version of the LandVote report, which contains data and editorial materials for the conservation year just past. The same data in the LandVote website allows you to prepare custom reports by state and year–a powerful research tool.

But whereas LandVote tracks how much money is being created, it does not track how funds are spent-how much land is being conserved and where. Until recently, there was no one place to gain a nationwide picture of how conservation funding is used.

TPL’s online Conservation Almanac fills that gap. Launched in 2006, this tool aggregates conservation data from private, local, state, and federal sources, allowing users to view dollars spent and acres conserved by hundreds of public agencies. The website incorporates LandVote data and information about the conservation policy framework of each state.

Earlier this year, the website was relaunched with advanced mapping capabilities. Rolled out for five states with others now being added, the maps display the location of the conserved lands detailed in the database.

The Conservation Almanac will be of particular interest to elected officials, researchers, journalists, conservation funders seeking to discover the impact of their work–and maybe you. As the Almanac grows, it will become the leading source of information about what lands are being protected and where the funds are coming from to protect them.

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