04.09.19

Burr Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators in Push for Permanent LWCF Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) joined a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) to introduce the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act. The legislation will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at a level of $900 million.

The bill’s co-sponsors include Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Angus King (I-ME).

“From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, North Carolina’s parks and lands have benefited immensely from the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” Senator Burr said. “I am proud this popular and effective program has finally been made permanent, but we still have to make sure it has the resources necessary to carry out its important work. This bill permanently secures adequate funding for LWCF - without costing American taxpayers a dime.”

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is responsible for the acquisition of some of West Virginia’s most treasured lands,” said Senator Manchin. “The Gauley River National Recreation Area, Monongahela National Forest and Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge are just a few examples of areas that benefited from LWCF funds. With 54 of our 55 counties having received LWCF investments at some point, the benefits of LWCF can truly be felt across the Mountain State. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan bill that will finally fund LWCF at the intended levels so we can continue to preserve, protect and invest in our public lands.”

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is the crown jewel of conservation programs and now that we have successfully permanently authorized the program, the next step is to make the funding of the program automatic,” said Senator Gardner. “Colorado projects rely on LWCF funding and fighting year after year about how much money to provide the program does not provide the long-term planning certainty our outdoor and conservation communities deserve. This is a commonsense, bipartisan program that comes at no cost to the taxpayer, and it is time Congress fully and permanently funds this critical conservation program so future generations of Coloradans will have access to our great outdoors.”

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is the preeminent tool to increase access to our nation’s beloved public lands. Now we need to build on our recent success to permanently extend the program by making sure the funding is mandatory and the program gets fully funded every year,” said Senator Cantwell. “The LWCF gives local communities the tools and resources needed to manage public lands, to provide more access to our lands and waters, and to do the things that will help us grow jobs and persevere against a very challenging and threatening climate.” 

To read the legislation text in full click here.

Background:

  • The LWCF was permanently reauthorized last month as part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which included Senator Burr’s legislation. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act would remove the requirement that the LWCF funds must be appropriated.
  • LWCF has a proven track record of success, contributing to more than 42,000 recreation projects since its founding in 1964. It operates at no cost to taxpayers, instead utilizing royalties earned from offshore oil and gas revenues.