In 1964, Congress set up a program to use lease funds paid by oil companies for offshore drilling to enhance recreation opportunities and protect our outdoors. It is called the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and it has worked well, even though Congress diverted much of the money for other purposes. Recently, I was in Washington to ask our members of Congress to protect this fund from being raided again.
Some LWCF money has helped improve Mount Spokane, Dishman Hills and Fish Trap Lake Conservation Area, as well as hundreds of other state and local parks that we use with our families.
Protecting these lands is also good for our pocketbooks. Hunting and fishing are important to our economy. In fact, the experts say outdoor recreation contributes more than $11.7 billion every year to Washington’s economy.
Some members of Congress want to raid LWCF again, but most members of our congressional delegation understand that it helps our state and federal agencies. I hope all of our elected leaders will fight to restore this national commitment to our outdoor recreation heritage.
Let them know you want these funds used as originally intended, to protect jobs and support our economy.
Richard G. Mathisen
Any community is fortunate when the best and brightest young people who grow up there return as adults to give back to the community that raised and nurtured them. Spokane is such a community, and Ben Stuckart is a prime example of retaining our very best.
Twenty-five years ago Ben was a ninth-grader at Lewis and Clark High School, and I had the good fortune to be his teacher in an honors history class. He was a sincere, passionate and very bright student then and as an adult has become a genuine leader in our community and a strong advocate for a bright future. Knowing him for as long as I have, I am convinced that this personable and trustworthy individual possesses the vision and commitment that will help Spokane pursue smart and beneficial growth with an eye to the common good of all of us, young and older.
As a candidate for City Council president, Ben brings an understanding of the challenges and possibilities that confront the city, and wise and fresh leadership that will lead to positive and productive progress for a community we call home. I urge enthusiastic support for Ben Stuckart for City Council president.