PALTA advocated for renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was renewed in December 2015 by Congress. Below is a PALTA opinion piece regarding LWCF published by Pennsylvania media outlets earlier that month:
Senators and Representatives should not leave Washington without renewing a modest program that helps preserve our nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage.
For 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided crucial funding to protect and enhance national icons like the Grand Canyon and Gettysburg battlefields, as well as national wildlife refuges and community parks.
Sadly, Congress let authorization for the Fund lapse this year. As a result, America, the nation that invented national parks, may no longer have a dedicated funding source for protecting natural and historically important lands. Congress, if it fails to act, will deal a harsh blow to efforts to conserve America’s most important places, even as America adds 2-3 million to its population each year.
Monies for the Land and Water Conservation Fund come from royalties paid for extraction of offshore oil and gas. It’s commonsensical – use proceeds from the depletion of one natural (and publicly-owned) resource to invest in others.
The Fund has supported park and conservation efforts across the Commonwealth: the Flight 93 National Memorial, Valley Forge National Historic Park, Johnstown Flood National Memorial, Allegheny National Forest, Brandywine Battlefield and many other significant places.
Bills are pending in Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the program. Our Senators and Representatives mustn’t fail to reach agreement on this bipartisan matter before year’s end. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has made sound conservation investments for decades. Let’s not be the generation that fails to invest in America’s heritage and future.