Thank you to all of the Ladies of the SLGC who called or wrote to their Members of Congress in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. On February 12, 2019, with overwhelming bipartisan support (92 to 8), a bill was passed in the Senate that, among other provisions, permanently reauthorizes the LWCF, preserving government-controlled public lands in every state from aggressive mining and setting them aside for conservation and/or recreational purposes instead. The companion bill in the House passed February 26, with a bipartisan support vote of 363-62.
The LWCF, you may recall, applies fees from offshore drilling in US waters toward preservation of public lands onshore, thus funding those preservation efforts at no cost to the taxpayer. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that passing the LWCF will save taxpayers approximately $9 million annually.
The bill also set aside an additional 1.3 million acres of our nation in Western states under a Wilderness designation, prohibiting further development. Over 500 miles of rivers in the Northeast and Northwest have also been preserved as wild, scenic, or recreational. Finally, three new National Monuments have been designated, one in Mississippi and two in Kentucky
GCA supported massive letter-writing campaigns in favor of these actions, and our nonprofessional lobbying has once again had a great impact nationwide. Thank you again for helping to save our public lands!