Policy Action: Critical LWCF Gets Big Boost

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Very good news for public lands and access: Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) goes fast track

By Bethany Erb of the Pheasants Forever Government Affairs Team

Happenings in Washington D.C. took an unexpected and VERY positive turn for public lands this past week.

Early in the week President Trump tweeted his support for full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and to restore our National Parks. This is a good shift but surprising in light of past administration budget proposals for much lower LWCF funding. Following the President’s tweet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) announced his intent to fast track the legislation.

Following Monday’s LWCF flurry, Senators Corey Gardner (CO) and Joe Manchin (WV), with support of other bipartisan Senators, immediately introduced a package of two bills which comprise S. 1081 The LWCF Permanent Funding Act and S. 500 Restore America’s Parks Act (ROPA). Combined, the bills will provide a dramatic increase in funding to enhance public lands and create new public access for hunting, fishing and overall outdoor recreation.

Pheasants Forever / Quail Forever supported and advocated for the contents of both bills which were introduced last year. S. 1081 in particular was a bill PF/QF team worked hard to promote within Congress, including last summer when the National Youth Leadership Council came to D.C.to advocate for this exact legislation! Congratulations to the NYLC for helping move this legislation, and to all our partners and volunteers that have supported the effort.

Given that the president and Senate leadership have signaled prioritization for this package, we anticipate it will move quickly within the Senate and hope to see the House follow the Senate’s lead.Stay tuned for further news and developments.