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Guaranteed Public Access to Stewardship Lands Lost in Budget Bill

Actions taken by the Democratic-controlled budget writing committee would repeal guaranteed public access to certain lands purchased with funds from the state’s Stewardship Program. This budget provision would make a significant change to the agreement made last session when the State Legislature reauthorized the Stewardship Program.

As a long-time supporter of the Stewardship Program, I recognize that one of the reasons the program has broad public support is that land purchases ensure public access to hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Given that it is the public’s tax dollars that are used in the land purchases, it only makes sense that the public be assured access to the land. I support public access on lands purchased through the Stewardship Fund and will support removing these provisions adopted by the budget committee.