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W.Va. Could Lose National Public Land Funds Without Congressional Action

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Congress will return to session after Labor Day to a full schedule. They will consider long term funding for the nation’s roadways, the Iran nuclear deal and an education bill replacing No Child Left Behind.

The full schedule has the conservation community worried about the impending expiration of a little-known program for buying park and forest land. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has generated almost $17 billion during its 50-year history.

About $10.5 billion of that has been spent to buy 5 million acres of public land, mainly out West, but West Virginia has also benefited from the fund. Think Harpers Ferry, the New River Gorge and the Monongahela National Forest. 

Mike Costello, executive director of the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition, explains the fund and what its expiration might mean for the state.

Chip Taylor has written hits like "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning." but one of his best known solo albums was his country-influenced "This Side of the Big River," which featured a cover of the famous Johnny Cash tune of the same name. Chip Taylor performs  "This Side of the Big River" on the Mountain Stage song of the week.

Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.