Full funding for Land and Water Conservation Fund restores decades long promise
Statement by NPCA President Tom Kiernan
“Senator Reid’s provision finally begins keeping the full promise that has been broken for more than four decades, to protect our national parks and other lands and waters using receipts from offshore oil and gas drilling. Our recent polling indicates that 81 percent of voters want that promise kept. This legislation will guarantee that the full amount is provided to protect our national parks and other precious lands and waters across the country for at least the next five years.
“Starting in 1965, Congress promised $900 million per year for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) from oil and gas drilling receipts. But over the years, the federal government has diverted $17 billion from that purpose. The tragic Gulf Coast oil spill reinforces the wisdom of the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s design, and the urgency of preserving the places with high quality opportunities for recreation and wildlife habitat conservation. As occurred after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, our nation should proactively seek opportunities to protect and conserve critical lands and habitat before they are lost.
“We need to seize this chance to protect our national treasures for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. LWCF has played a key role in protecting national parks like Acadia, Grand Teton, and the Great Smoky Mountains. We urge the Senate to pass this legislation, including full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, to keep the promise made to the American people to offset some of the results of oil and gas production by preserving the natural resources that Americans depend upon and cherish.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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