May 18, 2017

Cortez Masto, Bipartisan Coalition of Senators Call For Continued Funding of Land and Water Conservation Program

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and a bipartisan coalition of 48 senators sent a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Forest Legacy Program as they begin considerations for the upcoming fiscal year.

“From protecting wildlife habitat, natural resource lands, outdoor recreation opportunities, and working forests at the local, state and federal levels, to expanding hunting and fishing access, the LWCF and Forest Legacy conserve important lands for current and future generations,” wrote the senators. “Continued investments in these programs help our nation’s outdoor recreation, conservation and preservation economy, which supports millions of American jobs and contributes billions of dollars annually to the entire U.S. economy.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1964 established one of America’s most successful conservation programs that supports the nation’s land, water, historic and recreational heritage. The program supports America’s outdoor recreation, conservation and preservation economies, which contribute more than $1 trillion to the nation’s economy each year and support 9.4 million American jobs.

The LWCF has helped to ensure the permanent protection and maintenance of critical lands in our national forests, recreation areas, parks, wildlife refuges, Civil War battlefields and historic sites.  The program has also provided the matching funds to support countless state park and recreational projects in thousands of communities in every state across the nation.

LWCF funds have ensured that all Americans can reap the benefits of access to outdoor recreation, America’s unique historic and cultural sites, water quality and protected wildlife. In addition, parks, forests, refuges and other open spaces support quality of life factors that help communities to attract businesses and a strong high quality workforce.  LWCF funds park development activities through the critically important Stateside program and increased public recreation through the Federal side as new lands are opened to public recreation. The funding will help to ensure that vital park protection and recreation development opportunities continue throughout the nation. 

 Other senators who signed the letter are: Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Michael Crapo (R-Idaho), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Angus King (I-Maine), James Risch (R-Idaho), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).  

The full letter can be found here.