Buchanan Calls for Renewal of Land and Water Conservation Fund
$900 Million A Year for Environmental Conservation
Caspersen Beach in Sarasota County Helped by Program
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today called for swift action on bipartisan legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which expired on Sept. 30. This important government program provides states, counties and local governments with critical funding to protect and preserve national parks, water resources, wildlife habitats and historic sites.
In Florida alone, the LWCF has invested more than $1 billion to protect the Everglades, Biscayne National Park, Osceola National Forest, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Caspersen Beach right here in Sarasota County. The Florida National Scenic Trail, one of only eleven National Scenic Trails throughout the U.S., also benefits from this successful program and is currently relying on new LWCF funding to protect shorelines.
“This important conservation program will help preserve Florida’s iconic environmental resources for future generations,” Buchanan said. “It’s regrettable that despite broad bipartisan support Congress allowed this vital fund to expire.”
Congress is back in session today for the final weeks of the 115th legislative session.
Originally created in the 1960s, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is widely celebrated as the country’s greatest tool for funding conservation efforts throughout the United States. The program safeguards some of America’s most important natural treasures, including the Everglades, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountains.
Florida’s economy is dependent on this important conservation program, which greatly benefits the state’s $60 billion outdoor recreation industry, supporting nearly half a million jobs and producing roughly $3.5 billion in state and local tax revenue.
Earlier this year, Buchanan led a bipartisan Florida delegation letter calling for the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.