Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) joined a bipartisan group of Senators in reintroducing legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with increased urgency given the program’s lapse in September 2018.
“LWCF is our country’s most important and successful conservation and outdoor recreation program,” said Senator Collins. “LWCF has created outdoor recreation opportunities in every county across the country. Permanent reauthorization of LWCF will strengthen local conservation and recreation efforts in Maine, helping to ensure both current and future generations can enjoy the beauty of its natural resources.”
“For the last half century, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped Americans from all walks of life access the natural beauty of our country,” said Senator King. “From supporting outdoor recreation programs to preserving public lands, the LWCF transcends partisanship, and it should transcend politics – but far too often, the reauthorization of this vital program is subject to the whims of unrelated debates. It’s time to make a permanent commitment to the American people: that the LWCF will be here for years to come, working to connect our citizens with America’s public lands.”
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1965 to ensure access to outdoor spaces for present and future generations, and to provide money to federal agencies and state and local governments to purchase land, water, and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. The LWCF has supported more than 42,000 state and local projects in communities across the country.
As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins worked to secure $425 million for LWCF in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus and in the fiscal year 2019 Senate-passed Interior bill, including funding for the Forest Legacy Program and for the Stateside grants.