Editor’s Note: this announcement was originally released by the Land and Water Conservation Fund on July 30, 2015.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan agreement to permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund advanced today as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to send a bipartisan energy bill to the full Senate. Unless Congress acts, LWCF’s current authorization will expire on September 30.
Last week, conservation leaders from across the country hailed the breakthrough agreement reaffirming LWCF’s 50-year-old promise to the American people that a small portion of the revenues derived from offshore oil and gas development are dedicated to make strategic investments to protect America’s irreplaceable natural, historic and recreational outdoor areas.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition congratulates Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Cantwell for moving the Energy Policy Modernization Act forward. We deeply appreciate their conservation leadership,” said Alan Rowsome, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands at the Wilderness Society and Co-Chair of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition. “Today’s bipartisan vote is an important step forward to ensure that LWCF, America’s most important conservation program, is made permanent. With less than 70 days until LWCF expires, we will be working overtime to get this breakthrough agreement signed into law.”
“At the beginning of this year, a bipartisan group of 59 senators, led by Senators Burr, Ayotte and Bennet, voted on the Senate floor to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said Rowsome. “The Energy Policy Modernization Act advances that effort and we look forward to working with bipartisan outdoor conservation champions in the Senate to secure the future of this vital program.”
About the Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important conservation program, responsible for protecting parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas at the federal, state and local level. For 50 years, it has provided critical funding for land and water conservation projects, recreational construction and activities and the continued historic preservation our nation’s iconic landmarks from coast-to-coast.
LWCF does not use any taxpayer dollars – it is funded using a small portion of revenues from offshore oil and gas royalty payments. Outdoor recreation, conservation and historic preservation activities contribute more than a trillion dollars annually to the U.S. economy, supporting 9.4 million jobs.
About the LWCF Coalition
The LWCF Coalition is the umbrella group of more than 1,000 state and local land owners, small businesses, ranchers, sportsmen, veterans, outdoor recreationists, historical preservationists and conservation organizations working to protect America’s public lands and safeguard our shared outdoor heritage for future generations.
The Coalition is united in its advocacy for the reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will ensure the continued conservation of our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness, civil war battlefields, as well as state and local parks
For more information on LWCF and the places in each state conserved using LWCF funds, visit www.lwcfcoalition.org.