Today, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources advanced legislation that would permanently authorize and fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), as well as dedicate funding for improving access for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.
The bi-partisan efforts marks an important step forward for reauthorizing the program, which expired on September 30. The committee’s action follows the House Natural Resources Committee, which advanced its own version of a bill to permanently authorize LWCF on Sept. 13.
“We thank the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for taking up LWCF today and the bipartisan support to advance permanent authorization and funding for this critical program,” said Steve Moyer, vice president of government affairs for Trout Unlimited. “Today was a good day for America’s sportsmen and women, but we are not over the finish line. Congress must pass legislation as soon as possible to make LWCF permanent and fully fund this crucial program.”
Since 1965, LWCF has invested more than $16 billion into local communities in every state to provide funding for everything from public land acquisitions to developing local outdoor recreation sites. LWCF has provided funding to secure fishing access to famous fisheries like the Madison River in Montana, Letort Spring Run in Pennsylvania, the Upper Colorado River in Colorado and the Brule River in Wisconsin and many others. LWCF is also the primary funding source to acquire and conserve new public lands that are essential for sustaining our outdoor traditions and protecting fish and wildlife habitat.
“If you like to hunt and fish, nothing supports your passion like LWCF,” said Corey Fisher, public land policy director for Trout Unlimited. “The House and Senate committees have done their jobs and now the full Congress must do its part. Every day that the program is expired is a day that we are being shorted funding that helps to sustain our outdoor traditions.”
Learn more about LWCF and take action to contact your members of Congress at standup.tu.org.