Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and a bipartisan group of 52 senators sent a letter to Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid encouraging them to take action on funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Authorization for the LWCF will expire on September 30, 2015 if no action is taken. Established in 1964, the LWCF is one of America's most successful federal conservation programs, conserving irreplaceable lands and improving outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the nation. It requires no taxpayer funding. Colorado has received approximately $239 million in LWCF funds since 1964.
"Investments in LWCF support public land conservation and ensure access to the outdoors for all Americans, in rural communities and cities alike," wrote the Senators. "It has created outdoor recreation opportunities in every state and 98 percent of counties across the country, opening up key areas for hunting, fishing, and other recreational access; supporting working forests and ranches; acquiring inholdings and protecting critical lands in national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, Civil War battlefields, and other federal areas; and making additions and improvements to state and local parks and recreation facilities.
Funding for the LWCF will expire on September 30, 2015 if no action is taken. Many parts of Colorado have received LWCF funding, including:
- The Ophir Valley in the Uncompahgre National Forest
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- White River National Forest
- Montbello Urban Open Space Park in Denver
- Washington Park in Denver
- Golden Gate State Park
- Black Canyon National Park
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Curecanti National Recreation Area
- Colorado National Monument
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
The letter was signed by the following members: Richard Burr (R-NC), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Edward Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), James E. Risch (R-ID), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Charles Schumer (D- NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR).
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