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I want to recognize Congressman Jared Huffman and Sen. Kamala Harris for their hard work protecting special public lands and rivers within our region, and their support of local recreation. It is rare in a lifetime to support conservation work that leaves a legacy for our children and grandchildren. The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act is just such an opportunity. I’m writing to express my support for the continued protection of our public lands in Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino and Trinity counties. Because of my role as a local business owner and parent, I see the economic benefit these protected places bring to our community, the health benefits to people who access and enjoy these places, and the critical protection of species in these unique areas. The Trinity Alps Wilderness and the Canyon Creek watershed are important to me because I take my kids backpacking and floating on the Trinity River during the summer. These family adventures provide us with lasting memories we all cherish. These areas also bring in tourism that supports my business and other local outfitters, and we love showing tourists all that we have to offer. I want to continue recreating in these areas for years to come and I want others to see and experience these places too.

The legislation increases the protection and restoration of existing public lands. It ensures increased recreation opportunities for all types of users: backpackers, rafters, anglers and hunters. Places like this need continued and expanded protection. This is why I support the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forests Act and thank Congressman Huffman for working with so many local stakeholder groups in its development. I also know many of our inland communities have real concerns regarding forest fires. I applaud the inclusion of measures to increase safety for these communities while supporting appropriate timber management in non-wilderness areas. Congressman Huffman and community leaders have worked hard to assure that this legislation is the best for our community and those who come to visit and recreate here.

I am especially happy to support the designation of Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers throughout the region. Protection of the most pristine and biologically unique places benefits future generations, our local economy, and recreational opportunities. I believe this legislation deserves wide support from our community and invite others to write or call to Congressman Huffman and Sen. Harris to thank them for this good work.

Jennifer Johnson is the owner of Adventure’s Edge. She resides in Cutten.

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