In advance of Pope Francis’ joint address of Congress on Sept. 24, Por La Creación Faith-based Alliance, which unites Latino faith leaders in order to develop stewards of God’s creation by educating and engaging this generation to leave a legacy for the future, released the following statement encouraging members of Congress to heed the Pope’s message and act to reauthorize and dedicate full funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund:
“His Holiness Pope Francis said that ‘God’s creation is ours to protect.’ As a members of the Latino faith community here in America, we believe this moral responsibility extends beyond the philosophical. It demands tangible action in our homes, in our communities – and that means action from the men and women we elected to represent us in Washington. That is why this broad group of Latino faith leaders have banded together with one simple ask of Congress: Act now to renew and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, before it expires at the end of September.
"For 50 years, this fund has enriched the lives of countless families by providing more than 41,000 parks, playgrounds, sports fields and wildlife refuges in nearly every county in America. Since the fund takes a small portion of royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling, there has been no cost to taxpayers as more than $17 billion has been invested in protecting public lands in every state.
"His Holiness has asked, ‘what kind of world do we want to leave behind?” LWCF has been answering that question for the last 50 years, as it has been an incredible mechanism in guaranteeing that we fulfill our moral responsibility. It’s time for Congress to continue this legacy and reauthorize – and fully fund – the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it expires in September."