Cassens: Stand up for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

To the Editor:

I serve on the board of the Oregon chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers from my home in northeast Oregon. BHA is a national nonprofit organization, formed in 2004 around a campfire right here in Oregon, that serves as the voice for our fish and wildlife and public lands and waters.

Advocating for conservation and public access is a deep-rooted part of who I am and how I was raised - and how I am raising my kids. After becoming a mother, I realized the importance of protecting wild spaces for future generations. I was lucky enough to be invited to join BHA’s largest ever grassroots trip to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The LWCF is America’s premier bipartisan conservation and access program, reinvesting federal offshore energy revenues into public lands and waters to ensure that we all have access to the outdoors. Congress created the LWCF more than a half-century ago to preserve America’s outdoor recreation heritage. Whether through providing funds for a local park or conserving our wild backcountry, the LWCF guarantees that America’s $887 billion outdoor economy continues to sustain communities nationwide. However, without action by Congress, the LWCF will expire on Sept. 30.

While in D.C., I met with representatives from the offices of Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Greg Walden and discussed the importance of permanently reauthorizing and dedicating funding for the LWCF. I also had the pleasure of meeting with Sen. Jeff Merkley and his staff. We discussed the successes and impacts of LWCF projects statewide and agreed that failure to reauthorize the LWCF would harm the public access and opportunities that so many of us value here in northeastern Oregon.

I cannot thank Oregon’s legislative representatives and staff enough for taking time to meet with me. Please stand with me in asking our representatives in Congress to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Our wildlife habitat, sustainable wild fisheries, and hunting and fishing access rights depend upon it.

Chelsea Cassens

Imbler

Alexis: Small town pride on the Fourth of July

To the Editor:

Butch Boettcher, Fred and Hazel Alexis participated in the Haines annual patriotic celebration of July 4th.

Eastern Oregon should be PROUD of Haines’ annual “Small Town” (Big Heart) atmosphere!

Fred Alexis

La Grande

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