House approves public lands bill, permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Media Contacts
Jess Bellwoar

America’s most successful conservation and recreation program is now one step away from being law


PHILADELPHIA — In a bipartisan 363-62 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a public lands bill last week that, if signed into law by President Trump, will permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill passed the Senate 92-8 in late February.

LWCF, a historically bipartisan program that has funded projects in all 50 states since its inception in 1965, expired on September 30, 2018. The program supported everything from the expansion and maintenance of local parks and recreation centers to places like the Delaware River Water Gap, Valley Forge, Gettysburg National Park, and the Flight 93 Memorial

In Pennsylvania, LWCF has helped fund the creation and maintenance of more than 1,500 projects investing more than $315 million in the Commonwealth.

While the vote passed with broad support, sadly, Congressman Scott Perry was the only Pennsylvania House delegate to oppose renewing the program. PennEnvironment applauds the members of Congress who voted in support of protecting public lands.

Jessica Bellwoar, Conservation Associate for PennEnvironment, issued the following statement.

“America’s public lands — our National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Refuges — are the nation’s best known treasures and at the heart of a legacy of what makes America beautiful. By permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Congress has reinstated one of our best tools for ensuring we can protect these iconic places.”

“We urge President Trump to sign the bill into law. Our public lands deserve no less.”

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PennEnvironment is a citizen-based, statewide environmental advocacy organization working to ensure clean air, clean water, and protecting Pennsylvania’s great natural heritage. For more information about this and other PennEnvironment projects, visit

For a list of projects funded by LWCF, go to