WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 27, 2015) - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to introduce legislation (S. 890) to permanently authorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which conserves and promotes public access to the country's national parks, forests and public lands. The program is set to expire in September of this year.
"The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect some of our most treasured public lands, including the Valles Caldera National Preserve and the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico," Sen. Heinrich said. "The LWCF also expands opportunities for outdoor traditions like hunting, camping and fishing that are among the pillars of Western culture, and a thriving outdoor recreation economy. Permanently and fully funding the LWCF will help ensure that the outdoor places we all enjoy will be protected for future generations to enjoy."
The LWCF, established in 1965, funds the purchase and development of parks, wildlife refuges and recreation resources of federal and state lands and facilities. The program's federal component 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's state component provides matching grants to states and localities for investments in outdoor recreation facilities, such as parks and playfields.
Original co-sponsors of the bill also include Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).