Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) joined a bipartisan group of Senators in sending a letter to the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders requesting a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) before its expiration on September 30, 2018.
“The LWCF is one of the country’s best conservation programs, preserving public lands and ensuring access to outdoor recreation in rural and urban areas,” the Senators wrote. “For the last half century, it has protected lands, historic sites, national parks, wilderness areas, and urban parks in every state… It is critical that this program be reauthorized before its expiration on September 30, 2018.”
“For the economy, sportsmen, veterans, wildlife, and our kids and grandkids, we must permanently reauthorize LWCF,” the Senators continued. “We also strongly request that you include mandatory full funding in any LWCF reauthorization package. We look forward to working with you to resolve this pressing issue.”
The LWCF has supported more than 42,000 state and local projects in communities across the country. The program is funded by a portion of federal oil and gas royalties, operating without any taxpayer funding. However, according to the letter, since its founding in 1965 more than $21 billion has been diverted from the LWCF trust fund to other purposes.
In addition to Senators Collins and King, the letter was also signed by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jon Tester (D-MT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Tom Udall (D-UT), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).
Click HERE to read the full-text of the letter.