10.01.15

Burr Pushes for 60 Day Lifeline on Conservation Fund

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) pushed for a deal to guarantee a 60 day short term reauthorization to fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). If approved by unanimous consent, the agreement would extend funding for the LWCF for 60 more days.

Funding for the LWCF will expire today, September 30, 2015, if no action is taken. Earlier this month, Sen. Burr and 52 of his Republican and Democratic colleagues sent a letter to Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid encouraging them to take action on funding the LWCF.

“This conservation fund is well loved and for good reason,” said Senator Burr.  “In my state alone, LWCF has protected over 900 sites, from the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, to Mt. Mitchell State Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest.  Americans expect Congress to take action on programs that are good investments, like the LWCF. This fund has provided endless opportunity for both job creators and recreationists alike without costing taxpayers a dime.  It deserves a short term extension until we can craft a long term solution.”

In North Carolina, outdoor recreation contributes $7.5 billion dollars to the state’s economy and supports 95,000 jobs.

  • For North Carolina alone, many spectacular sites, like the Pisgah National Forest, were completed thanks to this important fund. Now Americans across the country flock to this site each year.
  • Catawba Falls is another LWCF success story. It was acquired in 2010 through the LWCF and made this popular waterfall open to the public. 
  • The 88 acres were purchased from Foothills Conservancy of NC to open up long-sought public trail access to Catawba Falls, which was added to Pisgah National Forest in 1989, also thanks to LWCF.  It is 25 miles east from Asheville and enjoys 200,000-250,000 visitors per year.
  • Chimney Rock in North Carolina is a good example of a project that will be suspended if the LWCF is not renewed. Chimney Rock is a well-loved North Carolina monument, but expansion of the site will halt eventually without LWCF support.

Senator Burr spoke on the Senate floor today:

 

Watch his speech here

LWCF speech