As the clock ticks towards the end of 2015, Congress has less and less time to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)—an end-of-the-year must-do to save America’s best parks program that supports so many local economies.
There’s still time to fully fund and permanently reauthorize LWCF—as long as supportive members of Congress choose to stand up for their constituents and tell Utah Representative Rob Bishop to stop blocking reauthorization of the fund. Rep. Bishop has finally, after much delay, offered his own LWCF bill—one that would completely gut the fund, handing out payments to already-rich Big Oil companies while leaving American communities and local economies high and dry.
But a number of Congress members have the power to stop Rep. Bishop and his bad bill. The below Members, from districts in Pennsylvania and Florida, have both been supportive of LWCF in the past and have benefited from the Fund and its contributions to their districts and communities. It’s time for each and every one of them to step up to the plate and tell Rep. Bishop he can’t hold the Fund hostage—it means too much to their constituents, communities and economies.
You can read the national press release for the ads here, and read more about the Representatives, and the role of LWCF in their districts, below.
Overall, the state of Florida has received approximately $949 million in LWCF funding over five decades, funds which have gone to things like Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. For context, the National Park Service estimated in 2014 that the Everglades generate upwards of $103 million annually in economic benefit, including tourism dollars and jobs. But the Everglades is threatened–and funding it is part of the original LWCF spending plan, the one Rep. Bishop wants to gut.
Representative Mica, Florida’s 7th District:
Representative Curbelo, Florida’s 26th District:
Overall, Pennsylvania has received upwards of $283 million in LWCF funding over the last 50 years, including a significant portion to help complete and maintain Gettysburg National Military Park. What’s more, the Outdoor Industry Association found that outdoor recreation—which is promoted and supported by LWCF dollars—generates nearly $21.5 billion in annual economic output throughout Pennsylvania.
Representative Costello, Pennsylvania’s 6th District:
Representative Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania’s 8th District:
It’s time to remind these Congressmen of their support for LWCF—support that translates into strong communities and healthy economies. We need them to tell Rep. Bishop to get out of the way, and allow the permanent reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.