Bennet Urges Swift Action to Renew LWCF Program

Expresses Disappointment Program is not included in Funding Bill

LWCF Supports Conservation of Parks, Open Spaces, Wildlife Habitat in Urban, Rural Settings

Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today expressed frustration that reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is not included in the current stopgap funding measure and urged Congress to reauthorize the LWCF before it expires next week. LWCF supports the conservation of parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.

"Urban and rural communities throughout Colorado benefit from the Land and Water Conservation Fund," Bennet said. "This program is a crucial tool that has been used to help preserve dozens of landscapes across Colorado. There is strong bipartisan support for the LWCF, and we're extremely disappointed that reauthorization was not included in the funding bill we're considering today. We need to renew this program before it expires to ensure that future generations of Coloradans will continue to enjoy these areas."

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; among others.

Rather than using taxpayer money, LWCF receives a small portion - $900 million each year - of the billions of dollars in annual oil and gas royalties gained from exploration on federally owned land and water and does not add to the nation's debt.

Earlier this year, Bennet joined Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to introduce a bipartisan bill to permanently reauthorize the LWCF.

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