Recent events have us seeing the value of the outdoors in a new light. Recreation and access to pristine public lands are vital to us all. Our ability to recreate responsibly at a safe distance has given us the opportunity to get a much-needed refresher from these stressful times.

Recognizing the importance of our public lands, we need to give extra thanks to programs that have protected our legacy. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) stands out as a historic program that has provided funding for our beloved national parks, community trails and parks, and national historic sites. All of this is funded using revenues from offshore drilling, providing benefits without a single tax dollar. Here in Park County, LWCF has provided grants that contributed to improving Cohen Park in Fairplay, Antero and Eleven Mile, among others.

LWCF has only seen full funding once in its 50+ year history, as these funds are often diverted elsewhere. The introduction of the Great American Outdoors Act, sponsored by Senators Bennet and Gardner, provides LWCF with a tremendous opportunity: full funding in perpetuity. Thanks to our Colorado senators for supporting the future of our public lands through programs like LWCF.

Let’s continue to see this through to full funding,

Ross Bruno

Shawnee

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