Grijalva Applauds President Obama’s Proposal to Permanently Reauthorize LWCF in FY17 Budget, Notes Ongoing GOP Obstruction

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement applauding President Obama’s call to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of America’s most important conservation programs. Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) has advocated gutting the program, despite strong bipartisan support for Grijalva’s bill to permanently reauthorize the Fund.

“I applaud President Obama for sharing the American people’s commitment to conserving our public lands for future generations,” Grijalva said. “The President’s proposal to fully fund and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund will help ensure the great outdoors – parks, rivers and wildlife habitat – are accessible to all Americans today and for years to come.

“Conserving and preserving land and recreational opportunities for future generations shouldn’t get tangled up in the partisan games too many House Republicans have been playing. Two hundred of my colleagues in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have spoken up and cosponsored my bill permanently reauthorizing the program, but Chairman Bishop has twiddled his thumbs and ignored the public’s plea to reauthorize the fund.”

The President’s 2017 budget calls for $900 million in conservation and recreation projects, through a combination of discretionary ($475 million) and mandatory ($425 million) funding, and pursues permanent authorization and annual mandatory funding beginning in FY18.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund sets aside a small portion of the profits enjoyed by private companies drilling in federal waters and allocates those funds for conservation and recreation projects. This year’s budget proposes to fund projects across the country. For a full listing of proposed projects and a map of those projects, view the Department of Interior’s blog post.

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