Please read this important message below from U.S. Senator Max Cleland (ret.) and then sign our letter demanding a full reauthorization and full funding of LWCF.
Thank you for making your voice heard.
US Army OIF Veteran
Vet Voice Foundation
Many veterans, like me, find a source of our patriotism in our protected lands. America’s outdoors, and its citizens’ ability to explore them, is surely a part of our values worth protecting – from iconic places like the Grand Canyon to our ballfields and local parks are where we bring our families to share precious moments.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has provided funding for conservation and recreation for decades. It’s been used to protect places from National Parks to local playgrounds in every state since in its inception in 1964. LWCF is funded by oil and gas revenues generated by energy companies paying to drill for oil and gas offshore and uses zero taxpayer dollars. But, If Congress does not act, LWCF will expire this fall.
Unfortunately, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, a veteran himself, who oversees the program, has become an insider threat to its future.
Secretary Zinke served his country as a Navy SEAL with honor, and his patriotism to our country is unimpeachable. However, when I see an ideological threat to American values, I believe it’s my obligation to name it. As chief steward of our wondrous public lands and waters, Secretary Zinke has acted to severely undermine LWCF by calling for enormous cuts to the program in his budget proposals.
Secretary Zinke, who has defended drastic cuts to LWCF in his budget plans and who has been silent on the program’s impending expiration, has become one of the greatest impediments to its future.
As a Vietnam veteran and a retired U.S. Senator, I’ve stood beside brave patriots to challenge America’s enemies, foreign and domestic. We the people can ensure LWCF will continue to provide benefits to future generations.
Please join me, U.S. Senator Max Cleland (ret.), to fight for LWCF by letting Secretary Zinke and our members of Congress know that this is one program the government has a moral obligation to protect.
Gettysburg. The 9/11 Memorial. These iconic sites are funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, one of the nation’s most successful conservation programs. Unless Congress acts, the LWCF will expire this September, eliminating funding that protects American military heritage.
For more than 50 years, the LWCF has provided critical grants that protect and enhance national treasures like American battlefields, our national parks and forests, and over 40,000 state and local park projects across the country.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, America’s most important conservation and recreation program, a program that has saved places in nearly every state and county in the United States, will expire this September 30 unless Congress moves to renew and fund. For fifty-two years, this fund, at no taxpayer cost (funded by offshore oil and gas royalties to the federal government), has improved the lives of countless Americans and foreign tourists – all of whom generate considerable profits in the surrounding communities where the LWCF has created value.
The LWCF exists because of Teddy Roosevelt’s vision to start protecting our recreational opportunities, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s instinct for conservation action, John F. Kennedy’s commitment to the outdoors, and Lyndon B. Johnson’s creation of LWCF that we as Americans now have the most extensive network of open spaces in the world to hunt, fish, hike, swim and play.
By allowing the LWCF to expire, Congress is jeopardizing the preservation of American military heritage and the monuments to those who sacrificed. Congress should immediately fund and reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund at its full amount to ensure beneficial investment in management of America’s battlefields, monuments, and all public lands.