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896

I went on a run this morning. Nothing too crazy. Not a lot of miles done (3.4 miles) in a pretty sweet little town here in WNC called Weaverville. I grew up here and even though I didn’t have a Weaverville address for a long time, it’s part of my greater neighborhood, and was instrumental in the path I have found myself on.

As some of you may know, I have been participating in the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Hike to Hunt in addition to a training regime to prepare myself for my first western hunt on public land in the West (I know, fitness…. I promise you will be alright reading about it) in Idaho for elk this September. I have been primarily hiking weighted as well as doing some running on occasion. The primary point being that I do this on lands that are held in the public trust. I have logged miles on Pisgah and Nantahala, and State owned game lands and parks. This morning when I was stretching I checked my mileage for the challenge. I was at 97.35 miles. This run was going to get my 100 miles. In anticipation of that, I went to Weaverville and to Lake Louise.

I grew up going to Lake Louise for birthday parties, walking down to it while visiting my Papaw John and Aunt Rose, to wet a line on a lazy summer day, and also to get ready for a Yellowstone Backpacking Trip in my youth. If there was a GPS tracker that followed my upbringing, Lake Louise would be a frequent stop. A most recent treasured memory of mine that occurred on this little body of water happened last summer. We went to a birthday party celebrating a friend of ours youngest, and while we were there, we got to take the kids fishing. 5 kids ripping lips on some little bream and pan fish is one of the greatest things to witness. My best friend since the first grade helped my oldest bring in about 5 fish in a 10 minute time span. When it came time to cut the cake, we had to drag the kids away. The words to describe what I felt while watching that escape me. If I had the vocabulary of an accomplished author and editor, I think they would still allude the experience.

The Lake was a donation in 1936 from Louise Moore Hornady and her husband, to the town of Weaverville. The donation of land for public use is, in my opinion, one of the most selfless acts we can witness. When I get to the other side, I look forward to thanking Louise for her gift to WNC.

Another really cool thing about Lake Louise is the park that goes around it. Built in the early 1980s, this park has been a place for tons of swinging competitions, kid races, faster-down-the-slide tournaments, young love, heart breaks, celebrations and I am pretty sure it is heavily revered by the senior waterfowl feeding aficionado’s of the Southeast. But what’s really spectacular about this park is how it came to fruition. See, this park was not the product of some crazy tax by the county or town on the tax base. This park was not part of some referendum or bond. This park was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, also known as the LWCF. I won’t delve into the history of the program but will yield to much smarter folks than I. This info can be found here from the good folks at the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Currently, there is a non-partisan (see, it’s a thing, that can happen) bill out to permanently reauthorize the LWCF sponsored by Maria Cantwell out of Washington and Richard Burr from my state, North Carolina. Currently S-896 has only been read twice and has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. I urge folks to contact their senators and other federally elected folks and ask them to fast track addressing the re authorization on LWCF, which is due to expire on September 30, 2018. Here is a list of projects from RMEF that were supported by LWCF.

If you do not have the time or the words to reach out to your elected folks, I encourage you to go here and use BHAs’ form, or edit it to your liking, to reach out to your representatives.

As always, get in the arena

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