LWCF Bill Passes the U.S. House & Senate
This month, both the U.S. Congress and Senate voted to pass a permanent Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Natural Resources Management Act, which includes LWCF funding, now heads to the White House where it can be signed into law.
The permanent reauthorization of the LWCF will ensure that it continues to be a vital tool for conservation across the country, just as it has since its creation.
U.S. Senate passes permanent LWCF
by Lori Faeth
UPDATE: Building on the U.S. Senate’s vote to pass a permanent Land and Water Conservation Fund, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Feb. 26 to approve the legislation, 363-62 (link is external). This completes the bill’s journey through Congress. Now the bill advances to the White House, where a signature from President Donald Trump would make the bill law. Our original blog post follows.
I’m excited — and you should be, too! The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to permanently reauthorize the expired Land and Water Conservation Fund.
In a 92-8 vote (link is external), senators supported passage of the Natural Resources Management Act, a public lands package that includes LWCF. The vote reflected the overwhelming and strongly bipartisan support LWCF enjoys and gives the legislation great momentum as it heads to the House of Representatives.
Your advocacy and support of LWCF helped make this happen. This is why I ask you now to continue to fight for LWCF. Thank your senators for their vote and encourage your representative to support the legislation. LWCF is an important tool for many land trusts, and permanent reauthorization would finally conclude the needless exercise of regularly renewing such important legislation.
Indeed, land trusts have been hobbled since LWCF expired Sept. 30. The Land Trust Alliance has worked as part of a coalition to enact legislation to permanently reauthorize the fund, which is a significant source of revenue for conservation. The fund — now more than 50 years old — takes a portion of revenues from offshore oil drilling and uses that money to pay for local, state and national parks, as well as other public lands such as forests, shorelines, historic sites and wildlife refuge. It supports 41,000 state and local park projects, provides 9.4 million sustainable domestic jobs, protects millions of acres of land and contributes $1.06 trillion annually to the national economy. All at zero cost to taxpayers.
This is one of the best deals in conservation. And we’re getting ever closer to making this deal last forever. So take a moment to help us reach the finish line. Thank your senators. Call your representative. Let’s lock in a permanent Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Lori Faeth is government relations director for the Land Trust Alliance.