Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Next?!

With the economic news having been so grim as of late, many people have been forced to cut back on the amount of lavish spending they have become so accustomed to. Those having to do so, have been "forced" to spend more time with their family and find things that they can all do together. Among things such as going to the movies, a play or other things in the community, going to the zoo has always ranked among the top family outings.

With the current state of the economy, zoos may be the next thing added to the Endangered Species list. New York Governor David Paterson has proposed a budget that will undoubtedly cut the state funding for zoos across New York. According to an article from, "New York's 76 zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens will lose $9.1 million in state funds next year". ( article, Budget Cuts...)

When I was reading this article, I had hoped that there would be some good news on the horizon, but I was sadly mistaken. The new $819 billion stimulus package that is currently making the rounds in Congress doesn't allow for any wiggle room for many of the staples of the American family. "Section 1109 of the stimulus bill ... forbids the use of federal taxpayer money to plug the budget gaps. Taxpayer watchdog groups lobbied to keep zoos, aquariums, swimming pools, golf courses and casinos out of the stimulus,arguing that there are higher priorities for Americans' money during a recession". ( article, Budget cuts...)

Luckily not all of the money for the zoo and aquarium budgets come from the state; there are still private backers that could come out and help the zoos and aquariums, but I can't see it happening. There is plenty of what people call "old money" in New York and other cities that will see their local zoos and aquariums affected by this. I think that the people with the type of money that could possibly make a difference have grown accustomed to having not been relied on by these organizations. With any luck, we won't see the fall of our local zoos, much like we've been forced to watch the fall of the banks and our financial future as we know it. This is something that we could actually work to prevent.

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