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Senator Cantwell’s Legislation to Permanently Authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund Passes Senate Committee

Today, legislation introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a 16-7 vote and now heads to the Senate floor! This important legislation, S.569, would fully fund and reauthorize this landmark conservation program.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) supports our treasured public lands that protect ancient forests, salmon spawning streams, sources for safe and clean drinking water and amazing recreation opportunities. More than 50 years ago, Congress made a commitment to the American public that a small portion of revenues from offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) would go to natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation programs, as an offset for the depletion of the offshore oil and gas resources that belong to us all.

LWCF has invested $637 million in protecting the places that matter most to Washingtonians, like Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Columbia Gorge, local parks, working forests and wildlife refuges throughout the state. This past September 30th Congress failed to reauthorize LWCF for the second time in three years.

“Since it was enacted 54 years ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect many of the nation’s most popular national parks, forests, and public lands.  It has provided millions of Americans the opportunity to hunt, fish, hike, vacation and enjoy the beauty of nature and our great American landscapes,” said Senator Cantwell. “It has pumped billions of dollars into the outdoor economy and provided millions of good jobs.” 

Thank you to Washington Wild members who sent over 300 messages to their Senators and Representatives in support of this legislation!

Read the Press Release from Senator Cantwell’s office.