LETTER: Protecting outdoors in Kittitas County —

LETTER: Protecting outdoors in Kittitas County

By Fred Slyfield
Yakima Herald Republic

To the editor — I was very glad to see the March 9 article noting the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund for water quality and recreation in our region through the Little Naches River land purchase (“Little Naches River land purchase to aid water supply, wildlife”).

The Mount Clifty area is one of my favorite places to see mountain goats, a unique area sitting above what has been mostly private working forests. This multiphase project, a key part of achieving the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, will expand upon a history of regional success for community-led outdoors protection initiatives. I’m thrilled to see it will be protected for our kids, grandkids and all user groups.

Much gratitude is owed to U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert for his vision and leadership to protect our shared natural heritage through the LWCF. The LWCF, our nation’s premier conservation program, must be renewed in 2015 so we do not lose this critical resource. It continues to see funding diverted for other uses — even though it is funded from offshore oil and gas lease royalties, not taxpayer dollars. This has left communities across the state without funding for critical recreation projects. Completing these projects is a win-win for all state residents.

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