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A measure worth supporting

On June 17, the Senate voted in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act, giving our wild and wonderful public lands a real boost. Now the bipartisan Act heads to the House for consideration.

The Great American Outdoors Act is critically important for West Virginia and I am calling on Congressman McKinley to put his support behind the legislation.

The Great American Outdoors Act ensures that the Land and Water Conservation Fund would receive full program funding each year without going through a drawn-out appropriations process which often leaves it underfunded. LWCF is designed to provide funding for recreation and conservation projects on local, state and federal public lands.

LWCF doesn’t only support wild places; it’s an important funding mechanism for the preservation of historic sites and cultural history. Historic buildings, battlefields and parks where American history was made all benefit from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

In West Virginia, the investments made by LWCF in conservation and historic preservation have helped to bolster our outdoor recreation economy. To date, LWCF has provided over $241 million to support over 500 projects across the Mountain State. Wood County alone has received over $1.94 million dollars for the development of recreational resources and improvements to our parks.

Not only does the Great American Outdoors Act invest in the Land and Water Conservation Fund, it begins to address the $12 billion maintenance backlog plaguing our nation’s public lands. These maintenance problems are sure to get worse as our climate continues to change and weather events, like flooding, become more extreme. The Act provides desperately needed funding to repair infrastructure like roads, trails, recreation sites, bridges, buildings and water systems.

It’s time to help our nation’s economy recover from these turbulent times. That’s why we need our members of Congress to support the Great American Outdoors Act and invest in the lands that make America great.

Karen Yarnell

Marietta

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