Chesterton Tribune



Izaak Walton League asks Visclosky to cosponsor reauthorizaton of LWCF Act

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The Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America is urging U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, to co-sponsor a bill which would permanently re-authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act.

That bill has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been incredibly successful in helping to protect our wildlife, our history, our magnificent landscapes,” Chapter President Jim Sweeney said in a statement released on Saturday. “We would like to see it permanently re-authorized and fully funded every year.”

The LWCF is funded by royalties paid by oil companies from off-shore oil and gas leases. “It raises $900 million per year but most of it is diverted to the general fund,” Chapter founder Herb Read noted. “We think it should all be used for the reasons it was created.”

Half of the LWCF is used to pay for land for national parks and wildlife refuges and half is used for state and local parks. “The LWCF is incredibly important to all Americans,” Sweeney said. “It should be permanently re-authorized.”

Renaming the National Lakeshore

The Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is also voicing its support for a bill, introduced by Visclosky, which would change the name of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to Indiana Dunes National Park.

“Most people know the Dunes are the most important asset to tourism in Northwest Indiana,” Sweeney said. “They need to know that the National Lakeshore is also one of the most biologically diverse parks in the country and is where the modern science of ecology was born.”

Read, for his part, said that the name change will help to promote the park better. “We have a park of national importance culturally, geologically, and biologically. We think the name change could bring more people in to see how special it is.”


Posted 1/30/2017




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