In the last 50 years, no government program has been more successful in achieving this objective on a national scale than the Land and Water Conservation Fund. -Latino Conservation Alliance
HECHO and other members of the Latino Conservation Alliance have sent a joint letter to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, calling for reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
For 45 years, the fund has helped protect lands for conservation and recreation. Many state parks, such as Eagle Nest Lake State Park in New Mexico, Barr Lake State Park in Colorado, and Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Arizona were made possible through the LWCF. Those three parks are important to Latino communities and are popular fishing spots. Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Arizona also protects important cultural resources such as a cemetery where some early Latino residents of the area are buried. Many smaller local parks and playgrounds throughout the United States have been created through LWCF, and it has been key to creating outdoor spaces near urban areas, such as the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The fund has worked well, using royalties from offshore drilling to foster healthy communities and healthy landscapes in every state. Recognizing its value, the Latino Conservation Alliance notes, "LWCF protects our open spaces and improves access of these public lands for everyone, but its importance to the Latino community is without question. The preservation of these public lands and its accessibility is essential to the Latino community’s health, culture and future of our children."
Because, "LWCF has proven itself to be not only one of the best conservation programs, but also one of our most efficient and effective government programs," now is a great time for every citizen to express U.S. Senators and Representatives that LWCF works, and deserves full funding.