- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

SOLON SPRINGS, Wis. (AP) - A ranking U.S. Department of Agriculture official joined Sen. Tammy Baldwin and others in northwestern Wisconsin to celebrate what’s billed as the largest land conservation effort in state history.

The Brule-St. Croix Legacy Forest protects over 67,000 acres in Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas and Washburn Counties.

Speaking Tuesday in Solon Springs, Baldwin said it delivers on environmental protection and sustainable growth. She says it shows why the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund is so important for local economies.

USDA Deputy Undersecretary Butch Blazer says Congress needs to reauthorize the fund, which is due to expire in 44 days, to preserve a critical tool for protecting healthy forests and waters while creating jobs in forestry and tourism.

Wisconsin has received over $211 million from the fund over the past five decades.

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