West Virginia’s mountains are nothing short of heavenly, making it a great place to call home and a thriving outdoor economy. The lush green mountains, the melodious screams, and the silent rivers give you a feeling that makes you say, “I’m back home.”
Whether you like to spend time hunting in the Monongahela Forest, exploring the Canaan Valley, visiting the New River Gorge National Park, or hiking the trails near you, the outdoors is part of what makes West Virginia so amazing, famous, and “home.” “. .” The mountains of our country have always provided us with what we need and that is what will feed us in the crisis of the government’s finances.
We are proud of the generations that helped drive America through the coal fields of West Virginia. As descendants of miners and self-reflective communities, we want to continue our nation’s incredible legacy of using our mountains for livelihood by establishing long-term economic development strategies based on off-shore employment as a tourism and attraction tool. and retaining young businesses and talent. However, the recent surge in people wanting to use the government outside because of the Covid shutdown has weakened some of our favorite countries. Along with climate change, we, as a government, are at a good time to use sustainable products that will create interest in our community.
Earlier this week, we sent a letter to Senator Joe Manchin asking for his help to provide more funding for West Virginia and the state’s roads, public spaces and water, and climate through reconciliation. For months, Congress has been debating the funding for the public sector’s foreign investment and climate resilience through reconciliation. This package would provide funding to help repair and expand the foreign military infrastructure of some of our most loved countries – a worthy cause for renewable energy, the Civilian Climate Corps, protecting vulnerable communities from extreme weather, and more.
Although the Senator has made it clear that he wants to wait to see the inflation rate for July and August, we as West Virginians want to encourage Senator Manchin to look at the long-term economic outlook outside. As long-term residents, we know firsthand how our economy benefits from external factors. We sincerely believe that money like this will prevent our children, friends, and families from moving out of state and will provide them with jobs.
Foreign investment has created more than 18,000 jobs, generating $640 million in wages and salaries for our state. In addition, foreign companies have added $1.3 billion to West Virginia’s economy. Forecasts show a surge in tourism as Lonely Planet rates West Virginia as one of the world’s top destinations to visit in 2022. Private donations, such as $25 million to start an outdoor economy in West Virginia from former Intuit CEO Brad Smith, it shows great faith. at a price outside our country. While we’ve seen how important outdoor recreation has been to our economic growth, we also know that lack of funding for our outdoor activities, floods, heat waves, and extreme weather threaten our outdoor economy and much-loved places.
We have been grateful for Senator Manchin’s leadership in organizing solutions for our nation’s economy by investing in public lands as chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. As our economy continues to change, the outdoor sports economy will be critical to West Virginia’s success.
We encourage and support Senator Manchin as he continues to use his leadership to craft and deliver a climate-focused reconciliation plan that will serve to support West Virginia’s wild and wonderful wildlife.
– Corey Lilly is the director of Beckley’s Office of Outdoor Economic Development, Owen Mulkeen is the executive director of Friends of The Cheat and Cory Chase is the executive director of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.