Legislators should reauthorize national conservation fund

Posted 11/28/18

For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has protected national treasures like the Great Smoky Mountains as well as places closer to home like the park at Crosswell Elementary School or ballfields and tennis courts at Palmetto …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Legislators should reauthorize national conservation fund

Posted

For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has protected national treasures like the Great Smoky Mountains as well as places closer to home like the park at Crosswell Elementary School or ballfields and tennis courts at Palmetto Park or Dillon Park. Without using taxpayer dollars, the LWCF conserves lands and waters within national forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other open spaces in every state and in all 46 S.C. counties.

But despite having broad, bipartisan support, Congress allowed this incredibly successful program to expire in September.

With each day of inaction, we lose over $2.5 million that could go to the next city park, trail or ball field. That's $2.5 million that can improve our quality of life and also grow our economy.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, hunting, hiking, camping and other outdoor recreation activities contribute $16.3 billion annually to S.C.'s economy and support over 151,000 jobs that are the lifeblood of our communities.

We have an obligation to protect these jobs and ensure that future generations can play baseball or tennis at places like Palmetto and Dillon parks and enjoy all the lands, waters and wildlife this great state has to offer.

The LWCF helps conserve natural places that people, wildlife and local economies need to survive. It is too important to leave its future in doubt.

Thankfully we have strong bipartisan support in South Carolina for the LWCF with Sen. Graham and Reps. Clyburn, Sanford, Rice and Wilson all being strong supporters of the program or cosponsors of reauthorization legislation.

With the clock ticking on this Congress' chance to act, now is the time for these bipartisan legislators to call on leadership and get their colleagues to act to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the LWCF.

Thank you for your time and support.

BEN GREGG

Executive director

SC Wildlife Federation