WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined a bipartisan group of Senators and conservation organizations in a press conference to call for the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and launch the Save LWCF campaign, a new yearlong effort that will highlight parks and conservation success stories in 52 states and territories.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful conservation programs, which operates with no taxpayer funding. Senators Udall and Heinrich have long advocated for the permanent reauthorization and full funding of LWCF. This vital program expires one year from now on September 30, 2018.
“The LWCF is a smart investment that costs taxpayers nothing, creates jobs and pays dividends – for every $1 invested, local communities see a $4 return. That success shows why we can’t afford to leave the program in limbo,” said Udall. “In its 52 years, the LWCF has created urban parks like Valle de Oro and Petroglyph National Monument and conserved wild backcountry across New Mexico. There's no question that the LWCF has become one of our nation's most successful conservation programs and enjoys broad bipartisan support - yet year after year, Congress has left its future in doubt. That doesn't make any sense, and we don't have to let it happen. For the economy, sportsmen, veterans, wildlife, and our kids and grandkids, we need to fully fund and permanently reauthorize the LWCF.”
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of our nation’s most important and successful conservation programs. Over the last half-century, the LWCF has protected some of our most treasured public lands in New Mexico like the Valles Caldera and the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge,” said 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 ensure that our outdoor heritage and public lands will be protected for future generations to enjoy.”
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is probably the most important conservation program you’ve never heard of. But without congressional action now, it’s at risk of disappearing,” said Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society. “From our most iconic national parks to local parks and rec centers in nearly every county in the nation, LWCF has improved lives, communities, and economies.”