WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House passed Senate Bill 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country, establishing four new national monuments and permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Maite Arce, President and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement:
“Today’s vote is a positive step for conservation and an opportunity to end the cycle of uncertainty that has plagued one of America’s most effective conservation programs. The bipartisan support for permanent reauthorization reflects the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s long track record of success and the promise to the American people to conserve our public lands and ensure that everyone has access to them.
“More than 50 years ago, Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund as a promise to safeguard these places. Since then LWCF has funded tens of thousands of parks and projects throughout the country. Whether it’s developing a community pool, creating green space in the desert or strengthening our national parks, LWCF is one of the most critical tools for creating access to the outdoors, especially for diverse and urban communities, and protecting the places we love.
“From having places to connect with nature, spend time with family, enjoy outdoor recreation or explore their cultural heritage, LWCF isn’t just about protecting pieces of land or providing specific resources for development, it’s about the connection we have with these places and what they represent for each individual and community.
“We applaud the House for ensuring the future of LWCF and granting it permanent reauthorization. Americans of all stripes reap the benefits of these protected places and our country’s colorful, multicultural history is reflected in our landscapes because of LWCF.”
For over half a century, LWCF has served to protect America’s greatest treasures: from national parks of outstanding beauty to historic sites embodying our nation’s past. LWCF has successfully safeguarded countless acres of natural resources, enhanced access to public lands, preserved our historical legacy, and supported local economies by boosting tourism. To this day, LWCF has helped protect more than 100 national battlefields in 42 states, supported over 42,000 parks and recreation projects across the country, in addition to helping protect more than 2.2 million acres of national parks.
Hispanic Access explores the relationship Latino and diverse communities have with LWCF in the film Land, Water y Comunidad and through a whitepaper of the same name that profiles ten LWCF locations around the country and why the fund’s support matters.