Bipartisan Group of Senators Look to Gain Permanent Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and others today introduced legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which would fully realize LWCF’s promise to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) also cosponsored the legislation.

“The LWCF has a proven track record of making good on the promise of conserving our parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitats for the benefit of future generations of Americans,” said Senator Burr. “My colleagues and I offer this bill to permanently extend the LWCF, a program that preserves our natural heritage but does so without asking American taxpayers to shoulder the burden. I look forward to my colleagues coming together to pass this bipartisan legislation.”

“Access to Colorado’s open spaces is critical to our thriving outdoor recreation economy,” Senator Bennet said. “The LWCF has supported hundreds of projects across Colorado, from protecting the Ophir Valley to expanding and improving the Animas River Trail to providing Denver kids with outdoor educational opportunities in their own neighborhoods. We should pass this bill to reauthorize the program permanently, and at the same time, Congress should move to ensure the LWCF receives full and dedicated funding going forward."

“The LWCF is our most important and successful conservation and recreation program.  I have long supported this landmark program that has created opportunities for Americans to enjoy the outdoors in every state,” said Senator Collins. “By permanently extending the LWCF, our legislation will help create a more stable, long-term plan that allows landowners, states, local communities, and conservation partners to reasonably plan for the future.”

“LWCF is a critical tool that helps expand access to our public lands and preserves our Montana way of life,” said Senator Daines. “By permanently reauthorizing LWCF we can remove uncertainty and protect access to public lands for future generations."

“LWCF is essential to protect Colorado’s natural treasures and I have long supported a permanent reauthorization of this program,” said Senator Gardner. “This bipartisan, commonsense legislation is supported by countless Coloradans and Americans who want to protect our country’s public lands for future generations to enjoy. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to see permanent reauthorization of LWCF signed into law.”

"The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect some of our most treasured public lands and wildlife refuges in New Mexico like the Valles Caldera and Ute Mountain,” Senator Heinrich said. “LWCF also expands opportunities for outdoor traditions like hunting, camping, and fishing that are among the pillars of Western culture, and a thriving outdoor recreation economy. Permanently and fully funding LWCF will help ensure that our outdoor heritage and public lands will be protected for future generations to enjoy."

Read the legislation here.