House Votes to Permanently Renew Land and Water Conservation Fund
ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. House of Representatives today moved to save the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), approving a sweeping package of public lands bills that includes a measure to permanently reauthorize the program for the first time in its 54-year-history.
The package, approved by the Senate earlier this month with near-unanimous support, puts an end to the cycle of expiration and renewal LWCF has suffered in recent years. The fund last expired in September, prompting a bipartisan group of lawmakers to push for permanent reauthorization. The package also includes provisions to protect thousands of acres of wilderness and support endangered species recovery in the Colorado River. The package now goes to the president for his expected signature.
The following is a statement by Mark R. Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy:
“For too long, LWCF has been stuck in a cycle of uncertainty that limited its potential. Today’s vote changes that. This is an extraordinary victory for conservation in the United States.
“As one of the country’s most effective conservation programs, LWCF has helped protect national parks, expand trails and playing fields, and preserve important landscapes for over half a century. By using the revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling, LWCF invests in lands and waters at no cost to the American taxpayer, so it should be no surprise that a strong majority wants to continue this win-win for people and conservation. Regardless of party, nature unites us all.
“Ultimately, LWCF is about preserving the best of America by protecting our lands and waters, our wildlife and ways of life. The overwhelmingly bipartisan votes in the House and Senate to renew LWCF reflect our nation’s longstanding commitment to conservation, ensuring future generations will benefit from LWCF.
“We are grateful for LWCF’s champions in the House and Senate, all whom have worked hard to achieve permanent reauthorization, and we look forward to the President signing this measure into law.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.