Tell Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund
Our public lands and waters are under attack like never before, and America’s best parks program expires this year. We need to push now for Congress to make sure this important program can continue. Add your name and tell Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund!
For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has protected national parks and open spaces in every corner our country. LWCF has been invested in protecting New Mexico’s open spaces, national trails and increase recreation access to the tune of $312 million. It is critical to protect these public lands because they help tell a more inclusive story of our nation.
From national wildlife refuges and forests to ballfields and community parks, LWCF has protected places like Cibola National Forest, Petroglyphs National Monument, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park and Eagle Nest Lake Park. But this important investment tool expires at the end of September. It is critical that our Representatives hear from us – speak up to reauthorize LWCF and invest in our communities.»
The Trump administration has attacked public lands and their protections across the board. After shrinking Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, Trump and his cronies recently released a plan to open nearly 700,000 acres of cultural and public lands to mining and drilling, threatening the history contained there. Allowing the Land and Water Conservation fund to expire is the Trump administration’s next stop on their tour of destruction of our public lands.
LWCF does its job of protecting public lands without using any taxpayer dollars – it is funded with revenues paid to the government from offshore oil and gas drilling. This is a critical investment not only in our quality of life, but in local jobs. New Mexico’s $9.9 billion outdoor recreation industry is an economic powerhouse – supporting 99,000 jobs which generate $2.8 billion in wages and salaries and producing $623 million annually in state and local tax revenue. New Mexico needs to diversify our economy and plan for long-term, sustainable job growth – LWCF funding can help us accomplish this.
LWCF funding helped protect Valle del Oro National Wildlife Refuge just on the outskirts of Albuquerque, our nation’s first-ever urban national wildlife refuge in the Southwest. This urban oasis allows people to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and gives students access to learn about their natural world. The Land and Water Conservation Fund must be reauthorized to continue to provide for important opportunities like this one – send your Representative a message today.»
In the far southwestern corner of New Mexico is a wilderness paradise – the Gila National Forest. In 2016, 605 acres on Upper Bear Creek were protected using LWCF funding which included a mile of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and two miles of the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway. The Gila National Forest provides ample outdoor recreation opportunities including horseback riding, fishing, hiking and camping. Without LWCF funding, other important recreational lands may be lost to development – it’s time for Congress to reauthorize this important investment tool.»
New Mexico has earned the moniker Land of Enchantment – we are rich in history, culture and natural wonders. LWCF has and can continue to help us protect it. But only if Congress takes action to reauthorize the act. Send a clear message – continue to invest in our communities.»