Fitzpatrick Defends Land and Water Conservation Fund
Washington, DC— Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) called on Congress to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Fitzpatrick strongly supports and cosponsored H.R. 502, bipartisan legislation to permanently reauthorize the LWCF and empower conservation efforts in our communities and across the country. This bill ensures that public lands remain truly accessible to the American people for outdoor recreation by setting aside at least 1.5 percent (a minimum of $10 million) of LWCF funds to increase access to existing federal public lands for hunting, fishing and other recreational purposes.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the nation’s premier recreation and preservation support program. It is the only federal program dedicated to the continued conservation of our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, Civil War battlefields, state and local parks, working forests and critical wildlife areas. This program is authorized by Congress, the LWCF is not funded by taxpayer dollars. Instead, it is supported entirely by a portion of oil and gas royalties - making it a responsible, practical method to protect our nation’s natural landscape and ecological diversity.
Rep. Fitzpatrick’s Remarks on the LWCF as delivered:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues, Democrat and Republican alike, and House leadership to support permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This vital program benefits millions of Americans in innumerable ways, from promoting recreational activity to contributing to our Nation's robust economy, along with furthering environmental protection.
As we rapidly approach the deadline for this crucial program, which affects 98 percent of counties here in the United States and contributes to an economy that encompasses 1 out of 15 American jobs, I urge this Congress to take up full permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Since its establishment 50 years ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has greatly benefitted my home district in Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania. Treasured public lands such as Nockamixon State Park, Tyler State Park, and cherished community venues such as Hatfield Community Park are all just a few of the examples of the beneficiaries of this valuable fund. I am encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue its authorization and funding on a permanent basis.
Mr. Speaker, this must be a bipartisan priority, and we must get this done. The alternative is unacceptable.