Wilderness Society Disappointed by Budget Deal that Fails to Permanently Renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Dec 15, 2015
The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Alan Rowsome, Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands:

“The congressional budget deal announced tonight is a disappointing mixed bag for America’s land, water and parks.  Handed a huge opportunity to do right by the Land and Water Conservation Fund after allowing it expire in September, Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to permanently renew and fully fund this important program.  They instead renewed LWCF for just three years, which does not protect the program’s long-term future and instead ensures a long, unnecessary fight over this popular bipartisan parks program.    

We’re confident that the American people will not allow a small handful of extreme anti-conservationists in Congress to hold the nation’s greatest conservation program hostage indefinitely. While many bipartisan congressional supporters of LWCF worked hard to achieve a temporary lifeline for the program, we must immediately redouble our efforts in the months ahead with those champions to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund to enhance the health and economic well-being of communities across the nation.”  

The Land and Water Conservation Fund was last reauthorized in 1990. The program lapsed on September 30 for the first time in 51 years when Congress failed to reauthorize the program. Americans in virtually every county of the United States enjoy trails, playgrounds and recreation centers paid for by LWCF. 

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.  

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