- Category: Wilderness Protection Campaigns
- Published: Friday, 15 November 2019 10:45
Congress: Fully Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was created by Congress in 1964 to fund land and water conservation programs in all 50 U.S. states. The program receives all of its revenue from royalties generated by offshore oil and gas drilling operations, so none of the funds come from taxpayers.
Since the program's implementation, the LWCF has funded conservation projects in all 33 New Mexico counties. Popular public lands like the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, the Continental Divide Trail, Valles Caldera, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, the state's national forests, and even city parks, have received more than $300 million to protect and restore New Mexico's land and water.
Congress failed to reauthorize the LWCF in September 2018, leading to the loss of tens of millions of dollars for America’s public lands. A federal public lands package that was signed into law in March 2019 reauthorized the program. However, the LWCF has still never been fully funded.
Legislation currently before Congress - H.R.3195 Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act - would permanently fund the LWCF, ensuring that public lands across New Mexico and the United States receive the funds they need for the forseeable future.
America's Trees. America's Values.
The 2019 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree came from the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico. Various projects within the Carson have recieved money from the LWCF, and its full authorization and funding is critical to permanently protect the Wilderness, wildlife, and water found within the forest.
Before making its way to Washington, D.C., the tree made several stops throughout New Mexico. Thousands of New Mexicans stopped by these sites to celebrate New Mexico's contribution to the nation's observance of the holidays.
As 2019 comes to a close, members of Congress would be wise to look to the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree for inspiration. The tree is a representation of our shared values and a reminder that the places that depend on resources from the LWCF deserve adequate and permanent funding.
These are values that are important to New Mexicans and all Americans alike. The Carson National Forest recently released a draft plan that will determine how the forest is managed for the next 20-30 years. New Mexico Wild collected more than 1,119 official written comments on the draft management plan, emphasizing the shared concern citizens like you have for New Mexico's land and water.
New Mexico's entire Congressional delegation is supportive of efforts to permanently fund the LWCF. However, they need to hear from constituents like you to be reassured that they have your support.
Please click the button below to sign the petition and ask New Mexico's Congressional delegation to help permanently fund the LWCF!