Congress needs to fund public lands

Editor:

In Arizona, we are fortunate enough to have millions of acres where we can hunt, fish, hike and enjoy all types of outdoor recreation thanks to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). As a hunter and fisherman who has not yet explored enough of Arizona’s outdoor opportunities, I value those acres, and the systems that support them and make them available to me.

Over its 52-year history, the LWCF has invested over $228 million to protect Arizona’s iconic outdoor places from the Grand Canyon to Saguaro National Park, Tonto National Forest, and our local trout hatcheries.

It has now been re-authorized, but not yet properly funded. LWCF is the best tool we have for protecting public lands, yet it continues to be underfunded by Congress.

I was very happy to see the letter from Brad Powell in the Sept. 3 Roundup. I agree with it wholeheartedly. Now more than ever we need America’s best conservation tool. Congress cannot afford to wait any longer to protect this program and make these critical investments in America’s public lands and its communities. Our Arizona congressmen and women must fight to ensure that LWCF receives the full and permanent funding from Congress that it deserves. I hope many of us here in Payson who regularly enjoy these resources, who even live here because of them, will send that message to our representatives and senators.

Joe Miller, Payson

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