Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Congress Poised to Break New Ground on Land Protections

Posted By on Tue, Feb 26, 2019 at 12:11 PM

click to enlarge (ERIK DROST/FLICKR)
  • (Erik Drost/Flickr)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Congress is poised to pass landmark legislation that could ensure the future protection of some of Ohio's most precious outdoor areas.

From Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Wayne National Forest to city ballparks and playgrounds, hundreds of places in Ohio have been supported by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.



The program expired in September, but the Senate last week overwhelmingly passed a permanent reauthorization as part of the Natural Resources Management Act.

Tracy Stone-Manning, vice president for public lands with the National Wildlife Federation, calls it a rare show of bipartisanship.

"In a time when our country is so divided, this one issue - the ability to bring people together around public lands, around protection of our wildlife - has punched through as something that is so uniquely and beautifully American that it has brought the Senate together, and we're hoping it does the House as well," she states.

Over the past 50 years, Ohio has received about $332 million from the program, which is funded from offshore oil and gas revenues. The House could vote on the bill as early as next week.

Ohio has a more than $24 billion outdoor recreation economy, which Garett Reppenhagen, Rocky Mountain director of the Vet Voice Foundation, contends is no doubt boosted by public lands.

"People go into the great outdoors needing to stop for gas, or using hotels or buying fishing equipment or bicycle equipment," he points out. "You know, there is a really growing outdoor economy in America, and it's a sustainable economy."

Stone-Manning says polling shows three-in-four Americans support permanent reauthorization for the program, which she maintains is needed to ensure treasured places are protected for future generations.

"Our population is growing," she states. "Need for open space and need for parks is growing with it.

"So we desperately need this program to continue so that our kids and our grandkids have the exact same access to parks and wildlife habitat that we have."

Besides permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Natural Resources Management Act also includes a provision to extend the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to include the Ohio cities of Steubenville and Marietta.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 1, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation