Despite Bipartisan Urging, Reauthorization of Land and Water Conservation Fund Left-out of Government Funding Bill
(Washington, DC) – Despite calls from both sides of the aisle to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in legislation to avert a government shutdown, Senate Republican leadership released a proposed government funding bill that doesn’t address the expiration of the program at the end of the month. Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) decried the lack of attention by Congressional leadership to the looming shutdown of this conservation program:
“It’s disgraceful that a program that has done so much to preserve and protect New Hampshire’s beautiful spaces is being flatly ignored by Republican leadership in Congress,” said Shaheen. “We’re on the eve of shutting down this program despite reauthorization having broad bipartisan support. This is incredibly short sighted and sets a dangerous precedent for other important conservation programs that will soon need Congressional approval. The expiration of the Land and Water Conservation Fund is another manufactured crisis that would do real harm to New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation industry.”
Last week, Senator Shaheen led a bipartisan letter signed by 51 senators to Senate leadership calling for the reauthorization of LWCF before it expires.
Over the past month, Senator Shaheen has been highlighting the importance of permanently reauthorizing and fully funding LWCF to New Hampshire’s economic growth and environmental stewardship. Hosting events in Concord with Interior Secretary Jewell, Nashua, and the Ossippee Pine Barrens, Senator Shaheen discussed her track record of supporting the LWCF program and why its impact is vital to New Hampshire communities.
Tourism is New Hampshire’s second largest industry. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy supports 49,000 jobs and produces $4.2 billion in direct consumer spending in New Hampshire.