If you missed it over the weekend, we had a Saturday story that examined the reasons behind the San Diego Association of Governments’ decision to delay a ballot initiative to fund habitat conservation.

Funding for the region’s habitat conservation was due by 2008 — a provision of the TransNet initiative, which extended the life of a half-cent sales tax increase to fund road improvements and environmental mitigation.

But the Sandag board agreed to delay the initiative until 2010. Here are a few more factors that didn’t get into my story.

  • Marney Cox, Sandag’s chief economist, pointed to the economy. “We’re headed into an economic recession,” he said. “Things are not looking good to get voters to approve any kind of tax measure, no matter how attractive we may think it would be.”
  • Some funding for habitat conservation is already available but hasn’t been spent. TransNet could provide as much as $200 million toward managing habitat throughout the region — activities that can include everything from reducing illegal off-roading to controlling weeds.

“It would be hard to ask the public to come up with more money when we can’t even show an example from the ballot measure we passed three years ago,” said Jerre Stallcup, a conservation biologist who has analyzed strategies for long-term habitat maintenance. “We don’t have anything to show for that.”


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