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Thoughtful approach will protect nation’s parks for the long term

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was spot on when she said during her recent conservation address, “If we stay on this trajectory, 100 years from now, national parks and wildlife refuges will be like postage stamps of nature on a map, isolated islands of conservation” (“Interior secretary calls for ‘major course correction’ on conservation,” April 19). 

It’s a national problem, and it’s a local problem here in our own backyard of the Chesapeake Bay. With this region’s human population approaching 18 million and climbing, and tens of thousands of acres of open space vanishing each year, it is critical that we take advantage of opportunities for large landscape conservation. With such development demands in the region, there are real fears that generations from now, our children’s children will have little concept of what the Chesapeake Bay looked like when Captain John Smith explored the area and met the American Indians who lived here over 400 years ago. We must find ways to conserve large tracts of land in the Chesapeake.

{mosads}The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been a successful tool for land conservation. Created by Congress in 1965, the LWCF uses royalties from the offshore production of oil and natural gas to provide money to federal, state and local governments to conserve land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. Just last week, the Senate voted to permanently authorize the LWCF through S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. This is a huge step forward to ensure this important conservation tool will remain available for local, state and federal partners to use. We now urge the House of Representatives to pass companion legislation.

On behalf of the Chesapeake Conservancy, we join the secretary’s call to increase the number of visitors to our nation’s parks and, collectively as a society, to put serious thought into the future of our public lands, just as the founders of the National Park Service had the foresight to do 100 years ago. 

From Joel Dunn, president and CEO of Chesapeake Conservancy, Annapolis, Md.

Trump’s style changed the game but may hurt chances of winning

Many consider the Donald Trump presidential juggernaut a lark but, while it may have started out that way, it is now far more substantial (“Trump needs just 287 more delegates to clinch GOP nomination,” April 27). Having surprised himself and the punditry with the support he has roused, the billionaire finds himself now the nidus of a whirlwind. He is also the focus of established GOP elders and respected conservatives who are appalled by his bluster, hucksterism and policy-lite prescriptions, and by his self-identification as a conservative, a moniker of convenience.

In transmuting from lark to serious undertaking, the Trump campaign has changed how politics is played, leastways for this cycle. However, his signature verbal depredations, which debase the public square and reduce serious discussion of issues and problems to a festival of insults, one-line zingers and lectern histrionics, will have to be abandoned if he becomes the nominee and faces a serious and well-schooled Hillary Clinton. 

His continuing ascension, sparked by a walk on the wild side of false charges, dangerous assumptions and deceptive solutions, may garner the nomination but diminish his chances for the Oval Office.

From Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Sally Jewell

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