Burr, Bennet Lead Senators Urging LWCF Reauthorization, Funding Before End of the Year

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today led a bipartisan coalition of 14 senators requesting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) include the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) along with full mandatory funding in one of the bills Congress must pass before adjourning for the year.

In a letter to Senators McConnell and Reid, the lawmakers wrote, “The LWCF is funded with offshore oil royalties and was designed not to use taxpayer dollars. However, since the creation of LWCF in 1965, more than $18 billion has been taken from the LWCF trust fund and diverted from its original conservation purpose. Because authorization for the LWCF expired on September 30th, offshore oil royalties are no longer being directed into the fund and there is no longer any guarantee that Congress will provide it the necessary funds.

“For the economy, sportsmen, veterans, wildlife, and our kids and grandkids, we must permanently reauthorize LWCF – it is America’s most successful conservation program. We also strongly request that you include mandatory full funding in any must-pass year end legislation,” the lawmakers added.

Senators Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jon Tester (D-MT), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly A. Ayotte (R-NH), Tom Udall (D-NM), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Steve Daines (R-MT) also signed the letter.