WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators, conservation leaders, and outdoor recreation advocates in a press conference to call for permanently funding and reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) before the end of the year. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful conservation programs, which operates with no taxpayer funding. Senator Heinrich has long advocated for the permanent reauthorization and full funding of LWCF.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America's most successful conservation program. LWCF expands opportunities for outdoor traditions like hunting, camping, and fishing that are among the pillars of Western culture,” said Senator Heinrich. “In New Mexico, LWCF has helped preserve many treasured places—including the Valles Caldera, Ute Mountain, and Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge—that power our thriving outdoor recreation economy. It also protects our drinking water, provides public land access, and ensures there are neighborhood parks, soccer fields, and baseball diamonds for our children. I will continue to do everything in my power to permanently and fully fund LWCF to ensure that the outdoor places we all treasure will be protected for future generations to enjoy.”
“Two months ago, America lost one of its best conservation tools,” said Lynn Scarlett, Former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior and head of External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund helps protect national parks, expand outdoor recreation opportunities and bolster local economies, all at no cost to the American taxpayer. It’s too important to continue leaving its future in doubt. Now more than ever, we have the bipartisan momentum to get LWCF the permanent reauthorization and full funding it deserves. For the protection of our lands, waters and the benefits their conservation bring to communities and our economy, now is the time to save LWCF.”
“We all know that the protection of our nation’s public lands, the health of our local communities and the continued growth of the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy are uniquely intertwined and bolstered by the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of Outdoor Industry Association. “Given all this, the fact we have a motivated and bipartisan group of lawmakers here today – it is well past time for Congress to reaffirm its commitment to our public lands, community health, and the surging outdoor recreation economy by permanently reauthorizing LWCF before Congress adjourns in December.”
Video of Senator Heinrich's speech can be found here.