In honor of National Park Week, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today highlighted efforts to preserve Wisconsin's strong tradition of environmental protection and conservation.
"Wisconsin's own Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, was committed to making environmental protection and conservation a top priority for our country. His leadership showed us the power of grassroots citizenship to bring about change," said Senator Baldwin. "And it is that commitment we carry on today as we celebrate National Park Week. This is a time to recognize the value our natural resources add to our shared American experience."
Wisconsin is home to seven National Wildlife Refuges and two of America's 34 National Parks. One of these parks, the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, in northwestern Wisconsin, recently received a $15,000 America's Best Idea grant from the National Park Foundation to further connect citizens - particularly youth -- with the river. The America's Best Idea program funds park activities designed to connect diverse, underserved and under-engaged populations with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways.
"Instilling a love of the outdoors in future generations will also help us preserve and protect the great outdoors for years to come," said Baldwin.
This week in the U.S. Senate, Senator Baldwin supported legislation to strengthen the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bipartisan measure that will assist states, including Wisconsin, in recreational planning, acquiring recreational lands and waters -- including making land available for sportsmen and women - and developing outdoor recreational facilities. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Wisconsin supports 142,000 jobs in the state. The Land and Water Conservation Fund will help support Wisconsin's tourism industry and can play an important part in the growth of the rural economy. The program is fully funded by royalties from offshore oil and gas leases at no cost to taxpayers.
"We all have a role to play in advancing the cause of environmental protection and conservation. And we know cherishing our natural resources is a Wisconsin value. I hope others will join me in our shared responsibility to protect and preserve our environment for future generations."