Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and a bipartisan group of senators in cosponsoring the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act, legislation to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at a level of $900 million. This legislation comes after the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was enacted into law last month, which permanently authorized the LWCF.
“Nevadans depend on our neighborhood parks and public lands for recreation, tens of thousands of jobs and over $1 billion in economic revenue from our outdoor recreation economy. Thanks to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Silver State has received over $100 million to preserve these critical spaces. It’s unconscionable that this Administration has repeatedly attempted to gut funding for this widely popular conservation program. I’ll continue doing everything in my power to preserve Nevada’s national parks and monuments, public lands and local parks for future generations to enjoy.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Manchin, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (I-Maine), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-N.H.) also cosponsored the bill.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provides funding for additions to national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and other federal public lands used for outdoor recreation and habitat preservation. The LWCF also funds important projects that protect drinking water resources, sensitive habitat for fish and wildlife, and private forestland. The LWCF provides matching grants to states and localities for investments in outdoor recreation facilities, such as parks and ballfields, and helps protect threatened battlefield sites.
More than $102 million has been invested by the LWCF to protect Nevada’s forests and wildlife refuges and increase recreation access. This has funded everything from projects at Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead to local parks like Lorenzi Park in North Las Vegas. Last year, grants from the LWCF supported Nevada’s efforts to create the Walker River State Recreation Area, which revitalized and re-opened the area to the public for the first time in 100 years.
Full text of the bill is available here.