To the editor:
As Washington works to finalize our national budget over the next few weeks, Michigan's Congressional delegation should keep Au Sable River in mind. Au Sable National Scenic River boasts 23 miles of protected river with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. But this incredible part of our natural heritage is in danger of being changed forever by pollution.
Senator Levin has the chance to step up and defend Au Sable National Scenic River by supporting full funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that protects places like Au Sable River by putting a fraction of offshore oil drilling royalties toward our Park Service.
Congress typically raids the Land and Water Conservation Fund for non-conservation purposes each year. This year, the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan, called for opening more of our public lands to oil and gas drilling and slashing general funding that keeps places like Au Sable National Scenic River protected and maintained.
Thankfully, the budget proposed this Wednesday by the U.S. Senate includes for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and calls for parks like Au Sable National Scenic River to stay accessible for Michiganders to enjoy.
I urge Senator Levin to support all measures to protect Au Sable so that future generations can experience the best of our natural heritage and to oppose environmental attacks in our budget.