Today, Montana-based conservation watchdog group Western Values Project Action (WVP) placed a billboard advertisement in Colorado, outside Rocky Mountain National Park, calling on Senator Gardner (R-CO) to follow through on his promise to permanently and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – America’s most effective public lands, public access and national parks tool.
The billboard accompanies previously launched print and digital advertising in Colorado, which will run throughout the summer, urging constituents to visit TellGardner.org and tell Sen. Gardner to show leadership for Colorado’s public lands.
“As Coloradans and visitors descend upon the state’s national parks for their summer vacations, Sen. Gardner’s constituents should know where he stands on funding the program that helps keep these destinations open,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project. “Unless and until Sen. Gardner stops dragging his feet and helps get LWCF funding across the finish line, his constituents should expect that his empty promises are for political gain — and must make their voices heard to help keep this vital program funded.”
Earlier this year, President Trump signed a bipartisan public lands package that permanently reauthorized the LWCF. However, the program still needs to receive dedicated funding — which the president nearly zeroed out in his most recent budget proposal, with the blessing of anti-public lands Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Sen. Gardner is integral to standing up to an administration hostile to public lands protections by ensuring that the LWCF is fully funded.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) recently introduced a bill to fully and permanently fund the program at $900 million, which was co-sponsored by 40 Senators, including Sen. Gardner. But the program currently hangs in the balance and needs dedicated funding immediately.
The LWCF has been critically important for Western states’ public lands. In Colorado, the LWCF has invested more than $278.6 million and supported nearly 50 projects, including all four of the state’s national parks.