Letters - Disappointed in legislationCongress missed an important opportunity last week to protect our outdoor and recreation heritage and to strengthen communities in Wisconsin and across the country.
By: Deb Ryun, St. Croix Falls, Hudson Star-Observer
Congress missed an important opportunity last week to protect our outdoor and recreation heritage and to strengthen communities in Wisconsin and across the country. An historic provision to make sure the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was properly funded was dropped from legislation recently enacted. Despite the outstanding leadership of Senator Herb Kohl, Representative Ron Kind and broad support across the Congress, the LWCF provision was stripped during the final negotiations on the bill.
LWCF is among our most effective and economical programs. It reinvests a portion of fees collected from drilling in offshore federal waters for the protection of local, state, and national refuges, forests, and parks – like our own St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.
LWCF also promotes economic growth by boosting tourism. For example, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is visited hundreds of thousands of times each year, and it generates millions of dollars in local spending, which support hundreds of local jobs.
I’m proud that my Senator and Congressman fought to protect our public lands, rivers, and forests, and I hope they continue to work on a solution to make sure LWCF receives the consistent money it deserves. This program is too important to our economy and quality of life and that is something we can all get behind.
Deb Ryun, St. Croix Falls
Executive Director, St. Croix River Association