American Forests Applauds Senate Action to Permanently Reauthorize LWCF
Reauthorization Supports Federal-State Partnerships that Protect Private Forests, Benefit Public
On February 12, 2019, the U.S. Senate approved a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as part of a public lands legislative package. The legislation passed by a vote of 92-8 will now be considered by the House of Representatives.
LWCF provides states and local communities with technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve their own history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities. Importantly, it provides critical support for the U.S. Forest Service to partner with State agencies to conserve privately owned forest lands across the United States that are at risk from conversion. Administered through the Forest Legacy Program, partners develop conservation easements or land purchases that protect private forests while providing critical public benefits, from clean drinking water, to opportunities to hunt, fish and camp to valuable economic activity from producing timber and other forest products. To date, this program has conserved over 2.6 million acres of forest land, 176,000 acres of open water and nearly 3,400 miles of streams. In addition, LWCF provides funding for additions to our national forest system and other federal lands.
“This is an incredible step for conservation from our Senate leadership,” said American Forests President and CEO Jad Daley. “LWCF – through the Forest Legacy Program and public land acquisitions – has kept millions of acres of forests as forests while increasing economic activity and public access to the outdoors and improving water quality nationwide. It’s a win-win-win for Americans.”
LWCF was established by Congress in 1965 to ensure access to outdoor spaces for present and future generations, and to provide money to federal agencies and state and local governments to purchase land, water, and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. LWCF has supported more than 42,000 state and local projects in communities across the country. Dozens of conservation and recreation organizations, including American Forests, support this bipartisan package.
ABOUT AMERICAN FORESTS
American Forests inspires and advances the conservation of forests, which are essential to life. We do this by protecting and restoring threatened forest ecosystems, promoting and expanding urban forests, and increasing understanding of the importance of forests. Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country and has served as a catalyst for many key milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the National Forest System, establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts.
Michael Woestehoff | Director of Communications | 202-507-3043 (direct) | firstname.lastname@example.org