news releases

07 October 2019

Latinos Community Leaders Visit Congressional Offices to Share Support for LWCF, Underscore Importance of Permanent and Full Funding to Local Communities

Category: News Releases

This week, 10 Latino leaders from HAF’s networks are visiting elected officials in Washington to share why the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been critical to their communities and why it deserves permanent full funding.

In light of their trip, Maite Arce, Hispanic Access Foundation’s president and CEO, released the following statement encouraging Congress to take heed:
“From the smallest to the largest of Latino communities, the Land and Water Conservation Fund 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.
“I commend these community leaders for taking the time out of their lives to share their support and love for LWCF with our leaders in Washington. Americans of all stripes reap the benefits of these protected places, which help support local businesses and provide outdoor access and opportunities for hunters, fishermen, climbers, hikers, bikers, and campers across America.
“For the level of impact LWCF does have though, Congress continues to shortchange the program. This is why LWCF needs permanent and dedicated full funding. The Senate and the House overwhelmingly supported the permanent reauthorization of LWCF earlier this year, which reflects how important this program is to local communities. It’s time we start funding it that way.”
With overwhelming support Congress voted to permanently reauthorize LWCF – a program that’s protected more than 100 national battlefields and supported over 42,000 parks and recreation projects across the country, in addition to protecting more than 2.2 million acres of national parks. LWCF does not cost taxpayers a penny as it’s funded through royalties collected through offshore oil and gas drilling. However, Congress is responsible for allocating those royalties to the program and while its annual allocation is capped at a maximum of $900 million, Congress has only fully-funded twice within its 54 years of existence.
Juan “Andres” Almanza (Las Vegas, NV): Outreach Director, Centro de Adoración Familiar
Jose Arvizu (Yuma, AZ): Associate Pastor, Betania Assembly of God Church
Brenda Gallegos (Las Cruces, NM): Associate Director, Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks
Chela Garcia (Denver, CO): Director, Conservation Programs, Hispanic Access Foundation
Jessica Godinez (Golden, CO): Conservation Programs Associate, Hispanic Access Foundation
Erica Hernandez (Denver, CO): microbiologist and Colorado Outings Leader, Latino Outdoors
Evelyn Arredondo Ramirez (Bakersfield, CA): Programs Assistant, MANO Project
Mayra Ramos (Oceanside, CA): recent graduate of Latin American Bible Institute
Maricela Rosales (Los Angeles, CA): Brands and Advocacy Coordinator, Latino Outdoors

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