On Sept. 30, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) expired. This fund was 56 years old and has provided funding to keep public lands open for our hunters, anglers, sportshooters and outdoors enthusiasts
Since its creation in 1964, the LWCF has provided $2.4 billion in funding to keep California public lands open, including our local San Bernardino National Forest.
As a mother of six with children who have participated in scouting and other outdoor recreational activities, I know firsthand the value of outdoor recreation for our young people’s growth and development.
As a taxpayer, I appreciate the LWCF contribution to our economy by supporting outdoor recreation jobs but costs taxpayers nothing. The LWCF is funded through lease payments from energy companies who are doing their part in protecting these important resources. It’s a win-win for everyone.
However, until the LWCF is re-authorized, we should be concerned about whether we can trust Congress to spend these funds appropriately.
Fortunately, Congress has already shown bipartisan support for the issue by passing two bills out of committee, H.R. 502 and S. 569. That’s why Congress must act now to continue to protect our open spaces!
Shellie Milne, Hemet