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McConnell, Comer introduces bill to secure funding for Land Between the Lakes

Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative James Comer introduced a bill Tuesday that would secure at least $8 million dollars in federal funding each fiscal year for the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

A release from McConnell’s office states the legislation from the two Republicans also revamps the Land Between the Lakes Advisory Board to reduce its size and put “more control over the board at the local level rather than with the states or Washington, D.C.” According to the charter for the advisory board, six of the 17 members of the board are appointed by local judge-executives, while the others are appointed by state elected officials and state and federal agencies.

“From increasing funding, to providing better oversight, to properly safeguarding the area’s heritage and natural resources, this legislation takes the best ideas from community stakeholders and will preserve LBL’s future. I look forward to leading it to passage in the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement.

Local judge-executives for Lyon and Trigg counties also praised the legislation as a way to give local residents more of “a seat at the table” regarding the recreation area’s future.

“Real people are about to start making decisions on the future of LBL and I couldn’t be more excited about the potential they’re going to realize there,” said Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White. “This change in legislation will be the single most important piece of work we have accomplished at LBL regarding proper funding in years. It is a game-changer.”

The bill also encourages the U.S. Forest Service to enter into an agreement with local governments clarifying jurisdictional issues over concerns about local law enforcement not having the capacity to patrol the recreation area.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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