Erik Wilkinson, the Conservation Chair of the TU St Vrain Anglers chapter, recently published an opinion piece in the Longmont Times-Call, highlighting the role of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in helping to purchase properties from flood-ravaged families following the 1976 Big Thompson flood - and calling for local officials to learn from that experience as response work continues to the 2013 floods. He also points out the importance of Congress acting to reauthorization the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will expire in 2015 absent Congressional action. Wilkinson writes: "As our communities endeavor to rebuild, we should again look to the future and use this tragedy as an opportunity to reinvest in our infrastructure and river resources. We must strengthen our towns against future floods so that we aren't faced with the same rebuilding challenges in the coming decades. We must use this event to create and enhance habitat and water recreation along the rivers, providing economic stimuli (jobs) to the affected communities."
The piece was informed by a recent Colorado TU report, Land and Water Conservation Fund—A Source of Hope and Help in the Face of Disaster which was issued at the one-year anniversary of the September 2013 floods. The report also highlighted the role of LWCF in helping Lyons rebuild its important St Vrain corridor trail - a key local connector and recreational feature.