CLCV Applauds Passage of Historic Conservation Legislation

Press Release
July 22, 2020

CLCV Applauds Passage of Historic Conservation Legislation

CONTACT: Katherine Zaremba | [email protected] | 541.224.4262

Recognizes California Congress Members for Championing the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Washington, D.C. – The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) today celebrated the passage of historic legislation to protect public lands and parks. The Great American Outdoors Act includes full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a conservation community goal that has been over 50 years in the making.

LWCF is America’s most important conservation program and has helped create and protect parks, public lands, recreation areas, and wildlife refuges across the county.

“We thank Congress for all their hard work to pass the Great American Outdoors Act and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said Mary Creasman CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters. “Investing in our communities and in conservation will protect public health in these trying times, and push us towards a collective and equitable economic recovery.”

LWCF does not use any taxpayer dollars and is instead funded using a small portion of revenue from offshore oil and gas royalty payments. But since the program’s inception in 1965, Congress has diverted money meant for LWCF to other places. Finally, the funding for LWCF will be used as intended, thanks to the California Members of Congress, especially with leadership from the 2018 class, who championed the Great American Outdoors Act.

“This is a win-win for every community,” continued Creasman. “At a time when a global pandemic is devastating economies - not only will permanently funding LWCF protect 40,000 state and local parks, it’ll drive growth nationwide, supporting over 7 million jobs and generating billions in economic output. With COVID-19 making it difficult to connect with one another, connecting with nature will continue to be essential for our physical, emotional, and mental health.”

CLCV has led the charge in strongly supporting the Land and Water Conservation Fund, recognizing the many benefits this program provides to Californians. The organization’s efforts included many meetings with California Members of Congress, collaborating with conservationists across the nation, activating CLCV’s members in support of LWCF, and a strategic communications strategy which included op-eds, earned media opportunities, and print and digital ads.

We especially want to thank Congressman TJ Cox, an original co-sponsor of the Great American Outdoors Act in the House and a key champion of the effort to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He has been a strong leader for his district on public lands, from co-hosting CLCV’s town hall with his constituents about how LWCF has benefited the Central Valley to relentlessly pushing house leadership to prioritize LWCF and driving home the importance of parks and the Great American Outdoors to the fabric of our communities.

“Elections matter, and we’re proud to work with the California delegation to ensure the outdoors are protected,” said Creasman. “California’s newest class of representatives from 2018 showed particular leadership, vision, and relentlessness in this fight, showing us that who is in office really does make all the difference. Today’s victory would not have been won without them in particular”

The Great American Outdoors Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives today with bipartisan support; it previously passed the Senate and now goes to the president for his signature.

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