Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today applauded the signing of the Natural Resources Management Act into law. Bennet secured 10 provisions in the package that will improve land management and expand access to public lands in Colorado, and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“It’s rare that a set of public lands bills becomes law, so this is a significant accomplishment for communities across Colorado,” Bennet said. “Our work over the last ten years to permanently reauthorize LWCF has paid off. This victory is a commitment to future generations of Coloradans that they will have access to the same iconic landscapes and outdoor opportunities we enjoy today.”
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Since joining the Senate in 2009, Bennet has advocated for LWCF reauthorization. He has led the effort in Congress with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to permanently reauthorize the program, introducing bipartisan legislation in 2015, and in every Congress since. When LWCF expired in September 2015, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor and wrote letters to leadership to help secure a three-year authorization in the end-of-year spending bill. When the program was set to expire again in September 2018, Bennet worked with Burr to file an amendment to the Farm Bill and other bills moving on the Senate floor and introduced a separate bill with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to permanently reauthorize and fully fund LWCF. Today’s lands package includes permanent reauthorization for LWCF.
Over the years, Bennet has visited several LWCF-funded projects in Colorado, including the Animas River Trail in 2016 and the Yampa River Project in 2018, to advocate for the program. LWCF has invested more than $268 million in Colorado projects since its inception.
Bennet-Led Provisions in Lands Package
In addition to LWCF, Bennet helped secure 10 provisions in the lands package that improve land management and expand access to public land in Colorado.
This includes the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, which Bennet led with late-Senator John McCain (R-AZ) beginning in 2015, to place youth and returning veterans in national service roles to enhance America’s public lands and waters. It also includes bills to designate Colorado peaks in honor of distinguished mountaineers; begin the process of establishing the Pike National Historic Trail; and protect an important view shed near Rocky Mountain National Park, among others.