Praise for Senate Action to Renew Land and Water Conservation Fund

Nov 19, 2015
The Wilderness Society praises the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today for advancing reauthorization of the nation’s most important conservation program.

“In this season of Thanksgiving, we are grateful to have a bipartisan group of Senators at the grown-ups’ table showing real leadership by advancing legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, in S. 556,” said Alan Rowsome, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands at The Wilderness Society.  “That contrasts with Rep. Rob Bishop’s ongoing delay of reauthorization by wasting time on an extreme proposal that would dismantle a successful program that creates America’s finest parks and outdoor recreation spaces.”


In a letter to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee yesterday, The Wilderness Society urged support for S. 556 citing the inclusion of compromise language from Senators Murkowski and Cantwell that permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The letter states, “The LWCF is one of the most critical programs our nation’s sportsmen have and it should not only be permanently reauthorized but also permanently funded to ensure that all Americans have access to lands and waters for fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation.”


Background, Maps and Data about the Land and Water Conservation Program

Last reauthorized in 1990, LWCF 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.  


Alan Rowsome, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands, 202-429-2643,
Michael Reinemer, Deputy Director, Wildlands Communications, 202-429-3949,