Udall Introduces Legislation to Permanently Authorize and Fully Fund Land and Water Conservation Fund
WASHINGTON - Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined five other senators, including U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, in introducing legislation (S. 890) to permanently authorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which conserves and promotes public access to the country's national parks, forests and public lands. The program is set to expire in September of this year. The bill was led by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Other cosponsors include Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
The LWCF, established in 1965, funds the purchase and development of parks, wildlife refuges and recreation resources of federal and state lands and facilities. The program's federal component provides funding for additions to national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests and other federal public lands used for outdoor recreation and habitat preservation. The LWCF's state component provides matching grants to states and localities for investments in outdoor recreation facilities, such as parks and playfields.
"The Land and Water Conservation Fund has had a powerful impact in New Mexico, providing resources to conserve special outdoor spaces that enhance tourism and enrich our quality of life. Just last year, thanks to LWCF, we created the Valle de Oro in Bernalillo County, the first urban national wildlife refuge in the country, and an educational gem for the Albuquerque area," Udall said. "LWCF is an investment that pays dividends — for every $1 invested, we see a return of $4 to local communities. It's time to allow the LWCF to meet its full potential for communities and future generations by making it permanent and ensuring it is fully funded."
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