Letter to President Obama from 90 Local Elected Officials, Recreational Businesses, Outdoors Groups

March 5, 2013

Dear President Obama,

From the peaks of the Rockies to the winding waterways of the Arkansas River, our parks, forests, waterways and wildlife refuges are the best of our natural legacy, where many Coloradans make some of our most cherished memories. Yet many of Colorado’s public lands are facing increasing threats from overdevelopment and pollution.

As a far-reaching coalition of hunters and anglers, conservationists, outdoors businesses, and elected leaders, we urge you to protect our most beloved natural areas, be they nationally known or locally treasured – places like Mesa Verde National Park, White River National Forest, and Chatfield State Park give Coloradans the opportunity to enjoy hiking, biking, angling, and hunting. Furthermore, as detailed in a recent Headwaters Economics report, the West’s public lands are key among the reasons why the western economy has outperformed the rest of the country over the last 40 years. We hope that you will ensure their long-term protection by calling for full, permanent and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in the FY14 budget and for the remainder of your term as president.

The annual diversion of LWCF funds to non-conservation purposes has left a long legacy of backlogged conservation projects and missed opportunities to safeguard our natural heritage. To prevent overdevelopment and increased pollution from continuing to threaten Colorado’s environment, you must address the underfunding of our nation’s premiere program for land and water protection.

We applaud your recommendation of $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in your FY12 budget. As an historic step towards providing this country’s parks, forests, waterways and wildlife refuges with the environmental protection they need and deserve, we urge you to call for full, permanent, and dedicated funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund in your FY14 budget.

Sincerely,

Jaime Stuever, Mayor, Leadville
Luke Finken, Councilmember, Leadville
Rachel Richards, County Commissioner, Pitkin County
George Newman, County Commissioner, Chairman, Pitkin County
Jill Ryan, County Commissioner, Eagle County
Jon Stavney, County Commissioner, Eagle County
Christina Rinderle, Councilmember, Durango
Sweetie Marbury, Councilmember, Durango
Gwen Lachelt, County Commissioner, La Plata County
Bill Pitts, Mayor, Grand Junction
Laura Luke, Mayor Pro Tem, Grand Junction
Bennett Boeschenstein, Councilmember, Grand Junction
Tom Kenyon, Councilmember, Grand Junction
Roger Granat, Mayor, Palisade
Steve Acquafresca, County Commissioner, Mesa County
Karen Weitkunat, Mayor, Fort Collins
Kelly Ohlson, Mayor Pro Tem, Fort Collins
Gerry Horak, Councilmember, Fort Collins
Bennet Manvel, Councilmember, Fort Collins
Lew Gaiter III, County Commissioner, Larimer County
Travis Vieira, Mayor, Wellington
Reverend Laurel Liefert, Namaqua Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Loveland
Jeanne Nicholson, State Senator, District 16
Cindy Domenico, County Commissioner, Chair, Boulder County
Deb Gardner, County Commissioner, Boulder County
Elise Jones, County Commissioner, Boulder County
Randy Penn, Mayor, Englewood
Dallas Hall, Mayor, Sheridan
Bill L. Holen, County Commissioner, Arapahoe County
Nancy Jackson, County Commissioner, Arapahoe County

San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, Alamosa—Christine Canaly, Director
Charlie's Fly Box Inc., Arvada—Charlie Craven, President
EcoFlight, Aspen—Bruce Gordon, President
National Wildlife Federation, Rocky Mountain Regional Center, Boulder—Ann Morgan, Rocky Mountains and Prairies Regional Executive Director
Boulder County Audubon Society, Boulder—Stephen Jones, President
Clean Energy Action, Boulder—RJ Harrington, Jr.—Executive Director
Boulder Flycasters, Boulder—Dave Clark, President
Acquired Tastes, Inc., Buena Vista—Charles Huggs, President
Wilderness Workshop, Carbondale—Will Roush, Conservation Advocate
Centennial Canoe Outfitters, Inc., Centennial—Julia Gumper, Secretary/Treasurer, Marty Genereux, President
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez—Deborah Gangloff, President and CEO
High Country Citizens' Alliance, Crested Butte—Greg Dyson, Executive Director
Black Canyon Audubon Society, Delta—Jon Horn, President
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Denver—Sue Anderson, Director of Programs
Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter, Denver—Joshua Ruschhaupt, Chapter Director
Fly Fishing Outfitters, Denver—John Packer, Owner
The Denver Fly Shop, Denver—Eric Anderson, Owner
Outdoor DIVAS, Denver—Michael Callas, CEO
Rocky Mountain Wild, Denver—Tehri Parker, Executive Director
Denver Bassmasters, Denver—Curtis Welch, Officer
Colorado Trout Unlimited, Denver—David Nickum, Executive Director
Discount Fishing, Denver—Mike Gray, Owner
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Durango—Shelley Silbert, Executive Director
Durango Rivertrippers, Durango—John Squire, President
San Juan Angler, Durango—Nick Ross and Cole Glenn, Managers
La Plata Open Space Conservancy, Durango—Scott Perez, Executive Director
Colorado Outdoor Sports, Englewood—Winthrope A. Ewbank, Owner
Estes Park Mountain Shop, Estes Park—Zach Zehr, Ski Technician
Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Estes Park—Charlie Money, Executive Director
Alpine Anglers (Trout Unlimited Chapter), Estes Park—David Lynn Myers, Chapter President
Evergreen Audubon Society, Evergreen—Chuck Aid, Director of Conservation
Evergreen Trout Unlimited—Mike McGinnis, President
Trailcology, Fort Collins—Christopher M. Herron, Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Audubon Society, Fort Collins—Daly Edmunds, Regional Policy Coordinator
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Fort Collins—Tammy VerCauteren, Executive Director
Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins—David Anderson, Director and Chief Scientist
Legacy Land Trust, Fort Collins—Ryan Boggs, Executive Director
Colorado Mountain Club, Golden—Scott Braden, Director of Conservation
American Alpine Club, Golden—Phil Powers, Executive Director
Clear Creek Land Conservancy, Golden—Dr. Gregory Holden, President
Grand Valley Audubon Society, Grand Junction—Nic Korte, President and Conservation Chairman
Grand Valley Anglers (TU Chapter), Grand Junction—Tilda Evans, President
Western Colorado Congress, Grand Junction—Rein van West, President
Isabelle Farm, Lafayette—Natalie Condon, Owner
Rocky Mountain Orienteering Club (RMOC)—Bob Ellis, President
City of Lakewood—Drew Sprafke, Regional Parks Supervisor
Colorado Open Lands, Lakewood—Dieter Erdmann, Director
Anglers All, Littleton—Chris Keeley, Owner
Audubon Society of Greater Denver, Littleton—Pauline P. Reetz, Conservation Chairman
Ducks Unlimited, Littleton—Nate Farley, Area Chairman, State Treasurer
South Metro Land Conservancy, Littleton—Bobbie Sheffield, President
St. Vrain Anglers (TU Chapter), Longmont—Barbara Luneau, President
Colorado Youth Outdoors, Loveland—Bob Hewson, Executive Director
Loveland Mountain Club, Loveland—Ron Anderson, President
Toads Guide Shop, Montrose—Tim Kenney, Owner
Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition, Monument—John Stansfield, Director
Dvorak Expeditions, Nathrop—Bill Dvorak, President
The Rocky Mountain Recreation Initiative, Nederland—Roz McClellan, Director
Quiet Use Coalition, Salida—Tom Sobal, Executive Director
Blazing Adventures, Snowmass Village—Renée Fleisher, Director of Group Services