Grijalva: Historic Bipartisan Agreement Reauthorizing LWCF, Paying for Park Maintenance Should Advance Quickly

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today that measures just passed by the House Natural Resources Committee permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and dedicating new funding to National Park Service maintenance represent a historic bipartisan moment and should move forward quickly.

“This is a taste of what’s possible when people work together in good faith,” Grijalva said today. “Days like these are far too rare in Congress, and if we keep this up we might just restore public trust in Congress’ ability to get things done. Thanks to a lot of hard work on both sides, the days of LWCF being a political football could end very soon and our national parks can start getting the maintenance funding they sorely need. I’d like to thank Chairman Bishop for the chance to work together on this. I hope we get to do it again.”

“Creating outdoor opportunities for people was the reason Congress created the LWCF,” Bishop said today. “My reservations about the program have never been about the goals of LWCF, rather I’ve been frustrated that the implementation of the program fell short of the law’s intended purpose. Despite the statute’s successes and recognition of the benefit of using public land development to fund recreation and conservation investments, reform is needed to ensure LWCF benefits local priorities to the fullest extent possible. This bill, along with additional action we took today, ensures that Congress adequately funds the lands it already owns and realigns the Fund back to its original goal of ensuring that hunters, fishermen, and families have access to recreational activities. I thank Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva for his work to find common ground, and look forward to engagement with all stakeholders and the Senate on a final agreement.”

Members who support LWCF reauthorization are now expected to make a strong push to get the bill – formally listed as H.R. 502 – to the House floor. The measure has not yet been acted on by the Senate, where Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and others have been fighting to get LWCF permanently reauthorized.

The park maintenance funding bill, which Chairman Bishop and Rep. Grijalva both support, is H.R. 6510.

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