Editor:

As a dedicated angler, hunter, camper and public lands user, I want to send a hearty thank you to Senators Sinema and McSally for voting to pass the Great American Outdoors Act. This legislation will ensure Arizonans get funding for much needed maintenance on public lands and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is critical to all Arizonans.

Arizona has received $235 million in LWCF’s 50-year history, with $60 million used for state and local projects to create parks, trails, and improve access. If full funding is allocated, LWCF could reach $900 million each year — just think of what those funds could do for Arizona. At least 40% of those funds are required to go to state and local governments to buy and develop recreation facilities, helping to create economic activity around the state and offering Arizonans places close to home where we can get outside and enjoy nature. Nothing could be more critical during these tough times.

In Arizona, we thrive on trails, in parks and ballfields, and hunters and anglers depend on public access for recreational opportunities. Thanks to the Great American Outdoors Act, our outdoor way of life will be maintained, but there is still work to do. The House also needs to pass this legislation, and I’m asking Payson and Rim Country residents and all Arizonans to encourage their representatives to move quickly to do so. Public lands and waters are in demand, especially during these difficult times, so let’s give back to them by passing this important legislation into law.

Joe Miller, Payson

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