A Sacred Trust: Governors Praise Signing of Land and Water Conservation Bill

Permanent Reauthorization and Increased Funding a Victory for Governors

The National Governors Association commended the president and both houses of Congress for reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which lapsed in September and faced further uncertainty during the partial government shutdown in December and January.

Scott D. Pattison, NGA executive director and CEO, released the following statement upon the president’s signing of the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47):

“Since 1964, governors have relied on Land and Water Conservation Fund grants to fund parks and other outdoor recreation initiatives. Ninety-eight percent of counties have parks and projects funded by LWCF grants to state and local governments. Over the years, the fund has helped states preserve local and national treasures including the Everglades, the Grand Canyon, the California redwoods and numerous battlefields.

“Today’s signing is the result of years of advocacy by governors and the National Governors Association to permanently reauthorize LWCF and lock in at least 40 percent of funding for conservation projects prioritized by states, who are in the best position to determine their needs.

“While the program was initially intended to allocate 60 percent of its funding to state-side LWCF, states have only received, on average, 26 percent of funding. Passage of this bill will provide millions more in conservation funding for states.

“This bill is an incredible victory for governors and natural resources upon which their constituents rely for clean air and water and recreational opportunities.”