Today, Montana-based conservation watchdog group Western Values Project Action (WVP) placed a mobile billboard advertisement in Arizona, near the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park as well as other areas, calling on Senator McSally (R-AZ) to follow through on her 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 Arizona, which will run throughout the summer, urging constituents to visit TellMcSally.org and encourage leadership on funding for Arizona’s public lands.
“As Arizonans and visitors descend upon the state’s national parks for their summer vacations, Sen. McSally’s constituents should know where she 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. McSally stops dragging her feet and helps get LWCF funding across the finish line, her constituents should expect that her 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. McSally 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. Sen. McSally has yet to cosponsor the legislation, but she has previously voted to reauthorize the LWCF, attributing and dedicating the legislation to the late Senator John McCain. The program currently hangs in the balance and needs dedicated funding immediately.
The LWCF has been critically important for Western states’ public lands. In Arizona, the LWCF has invested over $243 million over the past five decades and supported more than 30 projects to improve public lands in Arizona, including improvements to all three of Arizona’s national parks.