May 24, 2011 The Honorable Jim Costa 1314 Longworth HOB United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Costa: We, the undersigned, would like to thank you for your recent commitment to support robust and consistent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by adding your signature to the bipartisan letter to the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. This important step towards preserving a critical program that brings immense benefits to your constituents demonstrates your true leadership and foresight on this important matter. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been an invaluable resource to the Central Valley by helping our communities protect our lands, water supplies, recreational spots, public spaces, and wildlife habitats. In the last four decades, LWCF funding has contributed the necessary resources to invest in numerous noteworthy community, recreational, and wildland projects, such as Al Radka Park and Oso de Oro Park, both of which contain innovative features designed specifically with persons with disabilities in mind, as well as Woodward Park, the only regional park of its size in the entire Central Valley. LWCF funds have also helped protect many of the Central Valley’s most unique and diverse wildlands and natural habitats, and are an important component of the administration’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative. The LWCF and AGO will directly benefit our local resources including the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge, one of California’s largest riparian forest restoration projects; and the Grassland Wildlife Management Area, the largest remaining block of wetlands in the Central Valley, just to name a few. Land and Water Conservation Fund investments are also essential to the Central Valley’s economy. In addition to preserving and maintaining priority public lands, water sources and parks, LWCF funds are also responsible for creating and maintaining much-needed jobs, as well as sustaining important sources of local and regional revenue through tourism and recreational activity. These benefits are not only felt here in your district, but all across the state, where annual LWCF investments nurture a robust outdoor and recreational industry that contributes an estimated $46 billion to California’s economy, generates $3.1 billion in annual state tax revenues, and produces $28.1 billion in retail sales and services, while at the same time supporting more than 400,000 jobs statewide.

We appreciate your commitment to preserving all that makes the Central Valley a wonderful place to live, learn and grow. By ensuring this important federal program is adequately funded to meet the needs of our shared conservation priorities, your support will make a difference for generations to come. Thank you,

Dave Koehler Executive Director San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust

Matt Wilkes Executive Director Fresno Audubon Society

John Wilkins
Julie Rentner San Joaquin Regional Director River Partners John Wilkins Disability Advocate

Richard P. Yanes, J.D. Executive Director Fresno Metro Ministry

Sabina Gonzalez Fresno County Chair Communities for a New California

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