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2010 Conservation via Initiative, Referendum, or Proposition

Vote results on ballot measures of November 2, 2010 that could help or hurt environmental protection.

Having just survived the third consecutive pendulum-swing national election this November 2010, we thought it apropos to give a run-down of the various conservation measures that were placed on state ballots across the country.  Despite the conservative turn of the nation and the focus on balancing the national budget, it’s encouraging to see that people all over the country still value conservation, even in these trying economic times.

The source for all our information is Ballotpedia and the National Conference of State Legislatures‘ State Ballot Measures Database.  The following summary includes citizen-initiated legislation, referenda in response to existing laws, ballot measures created by state legislatures, and proposed state constitutional amendments.  See Ballotpedia’s discussion of direct democracy for more details.

This list of 27 ballot measures is comprehensive and includes those that were explicitly oriented toward the environment or conservation.  A few others, which in our opinion had potential to affect natural resource management or financing, are included, such as land use planning and bond issues.  

We had the temerity to make a cursory judgment, indicated by thumbs up or thumbs down, as to the conservation value of each final vote.  Please feel free to comment if you disagree or can add something to the discussion!

Alaska Bond Package Question passed with 59% of the vote.

Arizona Land Conservation Fund Transfer, also known as Proposition 301, or HCR 2002, was rejected by 74% of voters.

Arizona State Trust Lands Question, Proposition 110, was rejected by 50% of voters.

Arizona Hunting and Fishing Amendment, also known as Proposition 109, or HCR 2008, was rejected by 56% of voters.

Arkansas Hunting Rights Amendment, Issue 1, passed with 83% of the vote. 

Arkansas Interest-Rate Limit Question, Issue 2, about the Issuance of Government Bonds to Finance Energy-Efficiency Projects passed with 64% of the vote.

California Vehicle License Fee for Parks Act, or Proposition 21, was rejected by 58% of voters.

California Proposition 23, was rejected by 61% of voters. 

California Proposition 26, Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees, passed with 53% of the vote.  

Colorado Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property, Amendment R rejected by 62% of voters.

Florida Comprehensive Land Use Plans, Amendment 4, also known as "Referenda Required For Adoption And Amendment of Local Government Comprehensive Land Use Plans," was defeated with 67% of the vote (passage required 60% of the vote).

Georgia Energy Project Contracts, Amendment 4, passed with 61% of the vote. 

Idaho Power Amendment, HJR 7, passed with 57% of the vote.

Indiana Property Tax Cap Amendment passed by 72% of the vote.

Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment passed with 63% of the vote. 

Louisiana Natural Resource Severance Taxes, Amendment 2, passed with 58% of the vote. 

Massachusetts Comprehensive Permits and Regional Planning Initiative, Question 2, was rejected by 59% of voters. 

Maine Conservation Bonds issue, Question 3, passed with 59% of the vote.

The Montana Hunter Access Funding Initiative, I-161, passed with 54% of the vote. 

Montana Prohibit Any New Tax on the Sale or Transfer of Real Property, CI-105, passed with 73% of the vote. 

North Dakota State Legacy Fund Establishment, Measure 1, passed with 64% of the vote. 

The North Dakota Fenced Hunting Ban, Measure 2, was rejected by 57% of voters. 

The Oregon Lottery Funds for Natural Resources Amendment, Measure 76, passed with 69% of the vote.

The Rhode Island Capital Bonds for Open Space, Question 4, ($14.7 million total) passed with 65% of the vote.

The South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Amendment, Amendment 1, passed with 89% of the vote. 

The Tennessee Hunting Rights Amendment passed with 87% of the vote. 

Washington Schools Energy Efficiency Projects, Referred Bill 52, was rejected by 55% of voters.
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