The Wilderness Society issued the following statement in response to legislation introduced today by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) regarding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which Congress has failed to reauthorize, effectively ending the 50-year-old program:
“Rep. Bishop’s bill is a deliberate effort by anti-conservation extremists to dismantle a successful and popular bipartisan program and distract Congress from the urgent need to fully fund and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund in its current form,” said Alan Rowsome, senior director of government relations for The Wilderness Society.
“LWCF connects millions of Americans to the great outdoors in every corner of our nation. Bishop’s bill would twist and pervert the program, bending it in ways that reflect the congressman’s disdain for our national parks and other public lands, which reflect our shared history, drive our local economies and are owned by all Americans.”
Background, Maps and Data about the Land and Water Conservation Program
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 that for the first time in decades, $2.46 million per day is no longer set aside to invest in the nation’s parks and open spaces to ensure public access to the great outdoors. Americans in virtually every county of the United States enjoy trails, playgrounds and recreation centers paid for by the Land and Water Conservation Fund an overwhelming support the continuation of the program as is.
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.