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Budget leaves DEC, APA short

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Gov. Cuomo's budget would cut funding for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, following loss of federal stimulus money. The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation gets an increase of 16%, to $276 million to address a backlog of repairs and maintenance and for a youth jobs program.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo's spending plan includes more environment money for flood prevention and clean-up projects following tropical storm Irene. But some environmental activists say state officials should restore more money for cash-strapped agencies like the DEC and the Adirondack Park Agency. John Sheehan, with the Adirondack Council, says the governor's budget targets the APA with another small cut. He sa the APA has suffered staff cuts of 30% over the past five years, and the Council is deeply concerned. Sheehan says environment officials have had to stop enforcing some regulations because they lack the staff to do the job properly.

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