news releases

19 November 2019

Senate Committee Passes Permanent Funding for LWCF, Underscores Importance of Program to Local Communities

Category: News Releases

Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to advance legislation to provide full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act (S. 1081), was introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). A bipartisan House companion bill (H.R. 3195) was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee in June. In response to the passage, Maite Arce, Hispanic Access Foundation’s president and CEO, released the following statement:

“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.

“Support for LWCF is vast, diverse and bipartisan and we appreciate the Senate Committee for reaffirming the importance to providing full and dedicated funding for the program. 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.

“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 — LWCF needs permanent and dedicated full funding. This would ensure that LWCF dollars benefit communities all across America to its highest potential. Today's vote is an important step toward making that happen.”

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.

For more information about how LWCF benefits communities, see HAF’s 2018 film “Land, Water y Comunidad.”

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