WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) unveiled legislation today that effectively guts the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the 50-year old program that created and expanded parks across the country until Congress allowed it to expire at the end of September.
Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, issued the following statement:
“For 50 years the Land and Water Conservation Fund protected natural treasures in every state in the country, from Columbia River Gorge in Oregon to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, carrying out the principle that precious landscapes should be set aside for the long-term enjoyment of all, not given away or sold off for the short-term gain of a few.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund enjoyed strong bipartisan support from the public and members of Congress, but Rep. Bishop – backed by developers, drillers, and other narrow interests — led the charge to allow it to die last month. Now his bill would put the nail in the coffin of America’s most important conservation program.
“What’s more, Rep. Bishop’s legislation is a dangerous distraction from a bipartisan measure cosponsored by nearly 200 lawmakers to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund; as opposed to today’s damaging proposal, that bill would ensure protection and access to America’s best forests, canyons and riversides for generations to come.”