WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, joined Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) to introduce bipartisan legislation to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect some of our most treasured public lands and wildlife refuges in New Mexico like the Valles Caldera and Ute Mountain,” said Senator Heinrich. “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 LWCF will help ensure that our outdoor heritage and public lands will be protected for future generations to enjoy."
The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1964 established one of America’s most successful conservation programs that has preserved outdoor heritage, protected clean air and precious supplies of drinking water, and supported jobs across the country. LWCF is funded at no cost to the taxpayers from a portion of the revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling. The program supports New Mexico's thriving outdoor recreation economy, which generates 68,000 jobs and $6.1 billion of annual economic activity.
Senator Heinrich has long advocated for the permanent reauthorization and full funding of LWCF. In 2015, he helped secure a three-year extension and $450 million for LWCF, an increase of 47 percent over the previous year’s funding.
A copy of the bill is available here.