Udall, Heinrich, Lujan Grisham to Host Interior Secretary to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Land and Water Conservation Fund

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will visit the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge on Friday, Aug. 8 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and its positive impact on New Mexico. They will join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle and local stakeholders to make an announcement about the Refuge and to highlight the importance of the LWCF for urban parks, clean water, outdoor recreation and healthy economies in New Mexico. 

The LWCF was established to ensure access to recreational resources for present and future generations and to provide state and local governments with money to conserve open spaces for the benefit of all Americans. However, authorization for the program will expire in 2015 unless Congress takes action. The LWCF has proven to be a highly effective tool to protect and create urban parks and spaces and support economic growth, and Udall, Heinrich and Lujan Grisham have pushed their colleagues to make funding for the program permanent. Jewell's visit to New Mexico is one of a series of events across the country to meet with elected officials and stakeholders to support the president's budget proposal to fully and permanently fund the LWCF. 

Udall, Heinrich and Lujan Grisham have acknowledged the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge as a leading example of using LWCF funds to make a meaningful difference to local communities. The Refuge was the first designated urban national wildlife refuge in the Southwest Region, and LWCF funding is critical to ensuring that the outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat protection and environmental education benefits provided by the Refuge can be enjoyed by all. 

Funding for the LWCF is generated through reinvested revenue from offshore oil and gas leases. Congress has appropriated funding for the program at the full authorized level of $900 million only once in the past 50 years. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

WHAT: Udall, Heinrich, Lujan Grisham meet with Jewell, Tuggle, local stakeholders and community partners to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund

WHERE: Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

7851 2nd St. SW

Albuquerque, NM

TIME: 11:45 a.m.