This may not make headlines
These days, it can be frustrating to watch the news about the toxic political climate in Washington. Believe me, I share those same frustrations. With that in mind, I wanted to share some good news with you about my work to protect the places where New Mexicans love to get outdoors. Yesterday, in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I was proud to advance several major pieces of legislation I've been working on to grow our outdoor recreation economy, promote access to our public lands, and support sustainable use of New Mexico's land and water for generations to come.
The Every Kid Outdoors Act will allow every fourth-grader in America to visit our nation's parks, forest, wildlife refuges, and public lands free of charge--and bring their families along with them. Connecting kids to the outdoors can inspire a lifelong connection to conservation, while reaping all of the health benefits that go along with an active lifestyle.
I was also proud to secure a vote out of committee to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In New Mexico, LWCF has protected iconic landscapes like the Valles Caldera, Ute Mountain, and Valle de Oro, without costing taxpayers a single cent. It has also provided for community projects like baseball and soccer fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas. This bill will make sure our kids and grandkids will be playing ball, catching fish, and chasing mule deer on our public lands for many years to come.
I've been hard at work forging a compromise between Republicans and Democrats on how to address the maintenance backlog at our national parks. I'm proud we've finally passed a bill out of committee that will help restore and rebuild roads, buildings, campgrounds, trails and water systems in New Mexico's national parks and monuments. National Parks are a major economic driver in New Mexico, drawing millions of visitors and generating over $100 million in economic activity. We must invest in our Park Service infrastructure to ensure our national parks are safe and accessible to the visitors from near and far who pass through their gates each year.
Finally, I welcomed the passage of two major New Mexico priorities that I've worked on closely with local communities and Senator Tom Udall for the last few years. The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act would complete the community proposal the region included in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument by designating over 200,000 acres of new wilderness. And the New Mexico Drought Preparedness Act will give communities critical resources and technical assistance to use our limited water supplies more efficiently.
These may not be the type of developments that make headlines. But I want you to know that I remain focused on using my role in the Senate to deliver results on what matters to New Mexico. I hope you and your family are able to get outdoors and enjoy some beautiful fall colors in the places we all own and love. Please stay in touch about this or other issues important to your community.
United States Senator