Outdoor Recreation Economy & Conservation Efforts in Limbo Without Funding
(Sept. 20) – Members of the Colorado General Assembly urged members of Colorado’s federal delegation to support the reauthorization of the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The program is set to expire on September 30. LWCF is supported by a diverse coalition of hunters, anglers, conservationists and businesses across the state.
In a letter addressed to every member of the state’s members of Congress and two U.S. Senators the lawmakers wrote, “Investments from the Fund have benefited stunning federal lands like Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, helped to develop state parks like Cheyenne Mountain State Park in El Paso County, and aided numerous local municipal projects like Longfellow Community Park in Salida.”
In September 2015, Congress let the clock run out on funding for the program, but and then later agreed to reauthorize it in December 2015 for three years.
“An investment in LWCF is an investment into Colorado’s booming outdoor recreation economy, which supports nearly 230,000 direct jobs and maintains the quality of life that makes Colorado such a special place to live, work and play.”
“We urge you to work diligently towards permanently reauthorizing this program with full and dedicated funding. Doing so is in the best interest of all Coloradans and the future of Colorado,” the letter concluded.
“The LWCF is a successful program that has helped sustain critical infrastructure and open access to the public lands we all enjoy. With continued support, the program will ensure that generations to come can enjoy these special places. Without it, Congress puts Colorado’s natural resources and economy at risk,” said Senate Democratic Leader Leroy Garcia.
“This program is essential to preserving and enhancing our esteemed Colorado way of life and it must be reauthorized,” said Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver. “We can’t let the dysfunctional Congress and administration in Washington threaten the jobs in every corner of our state that depend on our thriving outdoor economy.”
“Hikers, bikers, anglers and any Coloradan who enjoys our renowned outdoors should make their voice heard in support of reauthorizing LWCF,” said Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder. “We can’t let Trump and Republicans in Congress play chicken with the future of our public lands, waters and national parks.”
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.
The letter was signed by Senate Minority Leader Leroy Garcia, Asst. Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, Speaker Crisanta Duran, Majority Leader KC Becker, Senator Irene Aguilar, Senator Lois Court, Senator Larry Crowder, Senator Kerry Donovan, Senator Steve Fenberg, Senator Rhonda Fields, Senator Matt Jones, Senator Daniel Kagan, Senator John Kefalas, Senator Andy Kerr, Senator Michael Merrifield, Senator Dominick Moreno, Senator Nancy Todd, Senator Angela Williams, Senator Rachel Zenzinger, Representative Jeni James Arndt, Representative Adrienne Benavidez, Representative Jeff Bridges, Representative Janet Buckner, Representative James Coleman, Representative Jessie Danielson, Representative Daneya Esgar, Representative Tony Exum, Representative Mike Foote, Representative Alec Garnett, Representative Joann Ginal, Representative Matt Gray, Representative Millie Hamner, Representative Chris Hansen, Representative Leslie Herod, Representative Edie Hooton, Representative Dominique Jackson, Representative Chris Kennedy, Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp, Representative Pete Lee, Representative Susan Lontine, Representative Barbara McLachlan, Representative Jovan Melton, Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Representative Dan Pabon, Representative Brittany Pettersen, Representative Dylan Roberts, Representative Paul Rosenthal, Representative Joseph Salazar, Representative Jonathan Singer, Representative Dan Thurlow, Representative Donald Valdez, Representative Mike Weissman, Representative Faith Winter, Representative Dave Young.