Letter: Congress must not cut land, conservation fund —

Letter: Congress must not cut land, conservation fund

By Joe LaTourrette
The Olympian

When Congress reconvenes in early September, they will begin to seriously tackle the difficult problems posed by the national debt. A major part of the fix will likely be significant cuts to government spending, but I hope those cuts do not result in a loss of jobs or damage to our natural and historic resources.

We all understand that outdoor recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs will be scrutinized, along with other worthy initiatives.

But I strongly urge Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and her colleagues to consider the positive impact that these programs have for communities in southwest Washington and the rest of the nation.

As Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler joins these discussions, I hope she will seriously consider the low cost and significant economic benefits that conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation programs provide to our local, state, and national economies.

As an example, Congress should be careful to not target programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund that contribute billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to our economy

Outdoor recreation – everything from hunting and fishing to hiking and youth sports – pumps $730 billion into our national economy every year and generates an estimated $88 billion annually in federal and state tax revenue – money that helps to pay for schools, roads, and public safety.

Outdoor recreation also supports an estimated 6.5 million jobs, in both public agencies and private businesses – jobs that cannot be exported elsewhere.

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