01.29.15

Burr-Bennet-Ayotte Amendment To Continue A Vital Conservation Program Garners 59 Votes In The Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, an amendment introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) received 59 votes in the United States Senate, sending a clear signal that the Senate supports a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). While the amendment needed 60 votes in order to meet a procedural hurdle, today’s vote proves that a bipartisan majority of the Senate supports the LWCF.

"Today’s vote is a strong statement that a majority of the Senate supports realizing LWCF’s promise to conserve parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation,” Senator Burr said. “We have all seen LWCF protect iconic sites in our states, and I believe most of us can agree that the LWCF is the best dollar-for-dollar conservation program this body has ever created.  My colleagues and I will continue to champion this worthy program.”

“While we’re disappointed the amendment did not pass, today’s vote signals that there is strong support for conservation policies like LWCF to help preserve the country’s landscapes for future generations,” Bennet said.  “Protecting our land and water is mom and apple pie stuff in Colorado and we know our state is not the only one. Conserved land and wide open spaces are a huge economic driver across the country, and it’s part of who we are in the west.”

“Today’s vote reflects strong bipartisan support in the Senate for permanently reauthorizing LWCF.  I will continue my work to bolster this important conservation program, which has helped preserve and protect New Hampshire’s pristine landscape and outdoor spaces,” said Senator Ayotte.

Rather than using taxpayer money, LWCF receives a small portion - $900 million each year - of the billions of dollars in annual oil and gas royalties gained from exploration on federally owned land and water and does not add to the nation’s debt.