news releases

11 February 2021

HAF Celebrates Secretarial Order to Strengthen LWCF

Category: News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Interior Department issued a Secretarial Order 3396 on the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which reversed the previous administration’s policies meant to undermine the landmark conservation program that continues to bring park access to Latino communities. In response to the order, Hispanic Access Foundation’s President and CEO Maite Arce released the following statement:

“The full, widespread impact LWCF has made on our communities all across this nation could never truly be measured or put into words. From the smallest to the largest of Latino communities, LWCF has been critical in providing all our nation’s diverse communities with what is often their main or only means to experience the outdoors. Whether it’s a local sports field, a community swimming pool or providing new trails, LWCF’s reach into our cities and towns is vital to the health and well-being of millions of Americans nationwide.

“Its 56-year proven track record as America’s most important and successful conservation and outdoor recreation program has benefited communities in every state and county. LWCF’s impact is essential to closing the Nature Gap -- the lack of parks, nature and green space within communities of color and low-income communities. The Nature Gap has left a legacy of poorer health and COVID-19 severity, higher stress levels, worse educational outcomes, lack of recreation and business opportunities and greater vulnerability to extreme heat and flooding in these nature-deprived neighborhoods. 

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund will also be critical to meeting President Biden’s ambitious 30x30 conservation goals and ensuring communities have the resources they need to conserve land, create parks and trails, and expand recreation access.”

HAF has focused on the reauthorization and funding of LWCF over the past several years. In 2018, HAF released the short film “Land, Water y Comunidad,” which explores the relationship Latinos across the nation have with Land and Water Conservation Fund sites – what it means to them, how they enjoy them and the impact it would have if these lands weren’t available. Additionally, HAF has helped provide hundreds of Latino community leaders with access to their elected officials both in Washington and in their home state.

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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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