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We got an email the other day complaining that 2020 was too long to wait for the Wildlife Tunnel to be built. “How many mountain lions will be killed by then?” the writer asked.

We don’t know how many lions will die (we hope none), but we do know why it takes so long. Actually we know that getting the tunnel built by 2020 is light speed in transportation terms. It takes decades to approve, plan, design, fund, and build a transportation project – or any other big construction project. That list of verbs (approve, plan, design…) gives you some idea why it takes time, because each step takes time.

The same thing applies, more or less, to any big public process. Look at the Rail Trail. It took years to buy the corridor, then years of public input and planning to get the Rail Trail Master Plan approved, then years to get funding for the first segments. Now, we’re just two years from having a quarter of it built, more of it designed, and we have funds (from Measure D) to build most of it – and some people want to start over!

As with the Wildlife Tunnel, the Rail Trail is being built far faster than expected because the Land Trust jump started the process by committing millions of dollars in private funds. Things take a long time because they’re complicated and we can get them done faster by doing just what we’re doing.

The Land Trust got these projects moving by committing millions of dollars in funds. We haven’t raised all that money yet, so if you want to get things done faster, make a donation today.

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Stephen Slade is the Executive Director at Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. He has more than 40 years non-profit experience in fundraising, communications, and management – and a deep passion for the lands that make Santa Cruz special.

Find out more about Stephen Slade…

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