Chesterton Tribune



Indiana Izaak Walton encourages public to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund

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The Indiana Division of the Izaak Walton League of America is encouraging the public to contact their federal legislators in support of a full reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF.)

The Fund was created in 1965 to provide a regular funding source for public land and outdoor recreation. Over its 50-year history, LWCF has protected land in every state and supported over 41,000 state and local park projects. Its 25 year reauthorization expires at the end of the month.

Indiana Division president Tim Russell, of Hammond said, “The LWCF is used to create national parks and national wildlife refuges and county and municipal parks too. It is an incredibly important program.”

Porter County Chapter president Jim Sweeney explained that $900 million annually is generated by offshore oil and gas leases for LWCF, but most is diverted to the general fund, “the Division (IWLA) passed a resolution last year that called for the entire amount generated by the LWCF be used for its intended purposes.”

Half of the amount raised by the Fund is to be used for federal parks and refuges and the other half for state and local parks. “The LWCF is used for local baseball and soccer fields,” said Sweeney, “and we hope it will also be used to create the Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana and Illinois too.”

A factsheet from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition says the program funds:

*  Increased public land for federal, state, and local programs

*  Recreational trails and waterways

*  Increased access to parks, forests, wildlife refuges, etc.

*  Preserving historic battlefields and cultural sites

*  Safeguarding rivers, watersheds, and clean water

*  Preserving natural areas and wildlife habitat

*  Supporting local economies and jobs through increased outdoor recreation

“The Indiana Division strongly supports the full reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and we encourage all Hoosiers to contact their US Representatives and Senators and tell them to support it too,” said Russell.

The Indiana Division Izaak Walton League of America has 23 chapters and over 4,700 members throughout Indiana and can be found at



Posted 9/24/2015




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