Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) will return to his home state this week for a six-week recess after he failed to deliver on his pledge to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). In response, Western Values Project Action (WVP) – a Montana-based conservation watchdog group – launched a new digital ad in Colorado asking why Senator Gardner is putting Colorado’s parks, public lands, and access at risk by not fully funding the LWCF.
Watch the 30-second digital ad here.
“Inaction and empty promises won’t protect our public lands, parks and our western way of life,” said Chris Saeger, the executive director for Western Values Project Action. “As Senator Gardner returns home for recess, we have a simple message for him: do your job and get the LWCF funded.”
Before leaving for summer vacation, the Senate passed a two-year continuing budget resolution, lifting the debt ceiling to avoid another reckless Trump government shutdown. The budget resolution did not include funding for the critical LWCF.
In Colorado, the LWCF invested more than $278.6 million in protecting trails, parks, and public access. But the Trump administration proposed nearly eliminating funding and Senator Gardner has yet to stand up to Trump in demanding funding for a critically important program to Colorado’s parks and public lands.
Despite being a co-sponsor, Gardner has remained silent about the senate’s plans to move pending legislation that would fund America’s most important public parks and lands program permanently before leaving on summer vacation. Senator Gardner continues to work closely with President Trump, saying nothing critical of the administration’s budget that would nearly zero out the bank account for this critical public lands and parks program.
The LWCF is widely supported and doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. Since its creation in 1964, Congress has only allocated the full $900 million allowed under the act a handful of times, meaning $22 billion in funding to support America’s public lands, parks, and public access have been diverted. On March 12, 2019, the LWCF was signed into permanent law, after passing Congress by a wide bipartisan margin with an empty bank account.
WVP Action recently launched a campaign calling on three key Western senators to ensure full and permanent funding for the LWCF. The campaign urges constituents to visit TellMcSally.org, TellGardner.org, and TellDaines.org to tell their Senator to show leadership on this issue.