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Letters: A push to protect Illinois' open lands

The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides crucial backing to some of Illinois’ most treasured parks and prairies, such as Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Sun-Times file photo.

I want to thank Ashley Williams (“Letters to the editor” — Feb. 23) for advocating for the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I strongly agree with Ashley, which is why I am a co-sponsor of S. 338, a bill that would permanently authorize the Fund.

I have spent the last year fighting to reauthorize the Fund to protect Illinois’ open lands and precious natural resources. I supported the fiscal year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill that reauthorized the Fund for three years, and I am working to include language from S. 338, permanently reauthorizing the program, in an energy bill currently under negotiation in the Senate.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of our most successful conservation programs, supporting efforts to protect federal, state, and local land, wildlife refuges and American heritage sites. Over the past five decades, the Fund has dedicated approximately $213 million to sites in Illinois, including the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield and the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. These funds go toward safeguarding our natural resources, opening public lands for recreational activities and spurring economic growth in the surrounding areas.

Permanently reauthorizing the Fund will ensure these sites are available to the public for generations to come.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, R-Illinois

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Questionable credentials for Foxx

The office of Cook County State’s Attorney is one of great responsibility and should be held by a person with excellent credentials and solid experience. In its own pages, the Sun-Times called out Toni Preckwinkle’s hand-picked candidate, Kim Foxx, for inflating her record as an assistant state’s attorney, “which has become an issue in this race.” She did not try hundreds of cases (as she once claimed). “Almost every case she handled was settled before then.” The Sun-Times’ questionable endorsement of Foxx adds two more reasons: “People are marching in the streets” and “Foxx offers a fresh start.” Do any of these four reasons indicate that Foxx is qualified for this important post?

Christine Craven, Evergreen Park

Living it up with Trump

I am convinced more and more that Donald Trump’s voters do not read newspapers. Drawn to his glitz and glamour, they are being drawn in to a fellowship of luxury that many of them can only share with him in a campaign atmosphere. Even at Trump Tower their lowly financial statuses would require them to move on. Forget Trump properties, where fashion and wealth are welcomed. Pedestrian voters would be shown the door upon their arrival. Only now are they valued, for that one action — needed if the Trump machine hopes to succeed.

Vincent Kamin, Streeterville

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