Conway-Overly campaign calls for long-term solutions for Ky. land

09/25/2015 02:19 PM

Democratic candidate for governor and Attorney General Jack Conway is thinking long-term when it comes to the lands of the Bluegrass state.

On Friday, the Conway-Overly campaign called for a 50-year commonwealth land management plan that has three focus areas: The first public private partnerships, second promoting sustainable management of natural resources, and third expanding conservation education opportunities.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that there are 713,000 hunters and or fishers statewide. Hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities support 35,000 jobs in Kentucky, and the annual impact of the industry is estimated at $5.94 billion.

“Kentucky’s lands are among our greatest treasures and are closely linked to our economic growth – which is why we must implement a forward-looking, long-term strategy to manage, protect and promote our critical natural resources,” Conway said, adding that is why he is releasing this push to think long term.

Conway said the plans will protect natural resources for years to come, and also potentially increase tourism associated with the state’s natural resources.

In the first focus area, Conway supports exploring public private partnerships, specifically with state parks. By partnering with the private sector existing lodging facilities could get some much needed updates, and new ones could also be built, he said. Which the Conway-Overly campaign says will help attract more visitors to the parks and Kentucky.

The second area of focus is on finding a long term support plan to promote sustainable management of resources.

“Our hunters and anglers help maintain and protect our natural resources through their funding of the Fish and Wildlife Commission, but too many decisions involving that funding are made with a short-term view,” Conway said in a press release.

The Conway-Overly campaign did not put forth any specific ideas on what a long term plan would like look, but said that they are committed to responsible and forward thinking representation on our Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The last area of focus is on expanding opportunities for conservation education as well as the continued support of the federal Farm Bill including the conservation efforts.

The conservation efforts laid out in the 2014 FARM bill include mandating farmers follow a series of conservation practices if they wish to receive federal subsides. Additionally it cuts subsides in half for people who farm on virgin sod to help protect prairie lands where the earth has been worked for generations and faces more soil erosion along with other issues, according to CNN.

Conway is calling for a long term plan looks to incorporate input from Kentucky’s tourism industry, landowners, sportsmen, and ecologist.

Conway faces Republican candidate Matt Bevin in the Nov. 3 election.


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