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Celebrating The 90Th Anniversary Of The Izaak Walton League Of America

Rep. Peter J. Visclosky

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Mr. Speaker, it is with immense pleasure that I rise today to recognize the Izaak Walton League of America on their 90th Anniversary and to congratulate its members on their many accomplishments. In honor of this exceptional milestone, the Izaak Walton League of America began a yearlong celebration on January 14, 2012, 90 years to the date of the organization's incorporation.

After being formally incorporated on January 14, 1922, in Illinois, the League, which initially consisted of fifty-four admirable men, began to work diligently on conserving natural resources in order to ensure their enjoyment, benefit, and use to the current generation and generations to come. Today, the League consists of 39,000 members and more than 250 community-based chapters who are committed to continuing the legacy and furthering the accomplishments of their predecessors. With a goal in mind to protect the nation's soil, air, wood, waters, and wildlife, the League's members have set high standards, and through hard work and dedication, not only met, but exceeded their goals. To elaborate on just a few examples of the tremendous impact the League's efforts have had on the environment, League leaders played a major role in the formulation of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which led to the landmark 1973 Clean Water Act. Furthermore, the League led the way in the creation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and today, its members work to ensure these funds are being allocated appropriately, for purposes which include the acquisition of public land and the creation of local opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Izaak Walton League is also to be commended for its role in the creation of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Superior National Forest, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and the Everglades and Isle Royale National Parks.

The League's continuous cooperation in working with communities, as well as with Congress, has led to many positive changes involving policies, legislation, and efforts to protect the environment. When it comes to protecting our water sources, defending public lands, establishing farm and energy policy, protecting fish and wildlife, and conservation, the Izaak Walton League's members have proven that with diligence, teamwork, and an appreciation for nature, everyday citizens can have a major impact on the world.

The Izaak Walton League's dedication to communities is endless. The League has supported programs to keep family farms in business, and groups of League members, known as ``Ikes,'' give their time to help build nature trails, restore stream banks, plant trees and rain gardens, and prevent the spread of invasive species. The Izaak Walton League knows how important it is to invest in the future, and it is with this in mind that the organization annually awards $125,000 in scholarships to college students seeking their degrees in fields related to conservation and natural resources.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in honoring and congratulating the Izaak Walton League of America on its 90th Anniversary. Through the years, the League's members have dedicated their time and efforts to ensure the conservation of our natural resources, and for this, they are to be recognized and commended.