Conservation-Related Ballot Measures in the Southern United States (1988–2010)
From 1988 through 2010, 354 measures were proposed across the 13 states of the U.S. South. As this table summarizes, these measures:
- experienced a high passage rate of 82 percent;
- raised approximately $7.5 billion for conservation;
- tended to be quite local in nature, with the vast majority being at the municipal and county level while only seven state measures were passed by a total of five southern states; and
- predominately authorized bonds as the source of funding.
Utilization of conservation-related ballot measures across the South was mixed among states. Florida and Texas led in the passage of these measures, with 80 or more from 1988 through 2010, or nearly four per year on average. Regions around Atlanta (Georgia), Research Triangle (North Carolina), and the Richmond-Arlington corridor (Virginia) had a relatively large number of measures, too (Figure 1). Six states—Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee— had less than one measure pass per year on average. Two states, Kentucky and Mississippi, did not pass a single measure during the time period.