Wolverine Worldwide Speaks Out in Anticipation of LWCF Mark Up

Sep 20, 2011

Topic: Policy

With news that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will mark up an Interior bill in the coming weeks, Jim Zwiers, president of Wolverine Worldwide’s Outdoor Group, took action. In his recent op-ed published in the Grand Rapids Press, Zwiers highlights that nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a park largely protected and managed by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), was voted “The Most Beautiful Place in America” in a contest hosted by Good Morning America.

“At Sleeping Bear Dunes, the vast majority of the park was protected using investments from LWCF — nearly 48,000 of the park’s 57,000 acres, about 85 percent of the entire park. Over the years, a total of $99 million has been spent from LWCF to protect “the most beautiful place in America,” and the return on that investment is, in a word, priceless. Sleeping Bear Dunes and the other public lands protected in Michigan by LWCF help fuel the state’s $5.1 billion annual outdoor recreation industry.”

Despite its economic, social, cultural, and health benefits, LWCF — a program paid for by offshore drilling receipts, not tax-payer dollars — is under attack like never before. The program received a 33 percent cut in last year’s Continuing Resolution and provisions in the FY 2012 bill reported out by the House Appropriations Committee represent a sharp and unprecedented departure from the nation’s commitment to land and water conservation.

Zwiers also sent Michigan Sens. Levin and Stabenow letters encouraging the senators to speak with Chairman Reed and the Interior Subcommittee about a strong allocation for LWCF in the FY 2012 legislation. Outdoor Industry Association, along with the Outdoor Alliance, will deliver similar letters to more than 40 other senators with the same message.