The Land and Water Conservation Fund was created by Congress in 1964 with bipartisan support to safeguard natural areas and cultural heritage for all Americans to enjoy. The idea was to use revenues from offshore oil and gas to support these conservation efforts. Since 1964 the LWCF has helped conserve thousands of acres across the United States. U.S. Rep Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, has commented, “The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides important funding for conservation projects across Wisconsin, including the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge and the Ice Age Trail.”

From 1965 to 2011, the LWCF has provided La Crosse County and the adjacent four counties over $2.1 million dollars for over 100 projects. Now, this all may end as there are two bills that Congress will soon consider to end all offshore oil and gas activities on both the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelf areas to include in the Gulf of Mexico, which will jeopardize this funding.

HR 1941 affects both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, while HR 205 primarily affects Florida’s coastline on the Gulf of Mexico. The impact of these two bills if they become law will severely affect the viability of the LWCF. More importantly, they will impact the energy supply and energy security of the United States!

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Please communicate with Congressman Ron Kind and encourage him to vote “no” on this legislation for both energy and conservation concerns.

John Christy,

Sparta

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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