Letter: Great American Outdoors Act is extremely important for Grand County
On May 16 residents of Grand County will have more reasons than most to celebrate Colorado’s Public Lands Day. With 80% of our county being public lands, we have an acute understanding of the importance that well maintained and healthy public lands have on our tourist based economy and on our recreation based life styles. One of the most important funding mechanisms for our public lands, including our national parks, is the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The fund ensures access to public lands, provides funds for maintenance, and has helped create many neighborhood parks and trails right here in Grand County. Kremmling and Grand Lake, along with the Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District, have all received funds from LWCF for park improvements. Rocky Mountain National Park is another big reason that LWCF is so important to Grand County.
LWCF provides much needed funding for the places that drive our economy and give us our amazing recreational experiences using funds from offshore drilling without spending a single tax dollar.
However, over its 50-plus year history, the program has only received full funding once. Funds that are set aside for our special places are often diverted elsewhere.
This will not be the case with the Great American Outdoors Act, which promises to provide full funding to the program for years to come. Please join me in giving our senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner a tremendous thank you for sponsoring this bill. It will benefit our beloved natural places, our state and our local economy for years to come.
— Kirk Klancke, president of Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited
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