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PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


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Expiration Date Noted During "Great Outdoors America Week"

IMAGE: The Boise Foothills are among the thousands of acres in Idaho that benefit from Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. The fund is set to expire next year, after 50 years. CREDIT: Deborah C. Smith
IMAGE: The Boise Foothills are among the thousands of acres in Idaho that benefit from Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. The fund is set to expire next year, after 50 years. CREDIT: Deborah C. Smith
June 23, 2014

Monday marks the start of 'GO' Week in Idaho and around the nation. The 'Great Outdoors America Week' campaign encourages people to get outdoors and enjoy green and open spaces.

Thousands of acres of public space in the Gem State, from local parks to large parcels of land, were made possible over the past 50 years because of money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. But it's set to expire next year.

Randy Newberg is the host of the TV show "Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg," and a member of the group Sportsmen for Access. He's been trying to spread the word about how important the fund is throughout the West.

"Letting people know how these lands got here," Newberg said. "How important this program is to keeping these lands public, to creating better access for hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationists."

The fund was an agreement put together with the cooperation of the oil and gas industry, where some of the royalties from offshore development go to public lands. A bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress to extend the LWCF, with annual funding of $900 million.

Newberg listed many of the region's most noted landscapes that have received money from the fund.

"The Sawtooth area, the Bear River area, Bruneau River, one of the classic Great Basin landscapes. I can just go down the spine of the West."

Newberg added that all Idahoans live near areas that have benefited from the fund, not just those who hunt and fish. The Boise River Greenbelt, Boise Foothills, Wood River Trails, Coeur d'Alene's Tubbs Hill and Sandpoint's City Beach have all received money from the LWCF.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID