Local and National Parks Lose Millions Each Day that Congress Neglects the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Oct 24, 2015
Statement by Jamie Williams, President, The Wilderness Society

The Wilderness Society issued the following statement about President Obama’s weekly radio address that calls on Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, America’s most important conservation and recreation program, which expired on September 30. The President’s address also notes the unprecedented collaboration between states and federal agencies to develop balanced conservation plans for the greater sage-grouse and the importance of working toward a clean energy future.  

“For 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund  has helped millions of Americans in every corner of the nation get outdoors and enjoy open spaces in their local communities and in our national parks,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. “We are grateful to the many Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill who are fighting to save this program, and we applaud President Obama for reiterating his support.

A clean, healthy environment is an issue that we should be able to agree on. LWCF keeps our outdoors accessible and magical—counting midnight stars, hearing a coyote howl or paddling a quiet river—these are experiences Americans yearn for that we owe our current and future generations.

Americans deserve real conservation leadership which means doing the right thing today so our grandchildren don’t have to suffer from smoggy air, polluted waterways and landscapes devoid of wildlife.”

LWCF

The Land and Water Conservation Fund, last reauthorized in 1990, lapsed on September 30 when Congress failed to reauthorize the program in spite of the fact that there are enough votes to continue the program.  This means $2.46 million per day will no longer be set aside to invest in the nation’s parks and open spaces.  See programs at risk and county-level data.

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.  

Contacts:

Alan Rowsome, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands, 202-429-2643, alan_rowsome@tws.org; Michael Reinemer, Deputy Director, Wildlands Communications, 202-429-3949, michael_reinemer@tws.org