Thursday, September 20, 2018

Gov. Wolf Urges Congress To Reauthorize Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund

Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday urged Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund-- an important federal tool that communities across Pennsylvania-- rural, suburban, and urban--  have used to revitalize their neighborhoods and create outdoor recreation opportunities for all citizens.
“Congress must act to save this important community development and conservation tool for states and local communities,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our economy depends on strong and attractive communities for businesses and workers to move, stay, and grow. Congress needs to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund without delay.”
Over 50 years ago, Congress passed the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, a remarkable bipartisan measure that provides urban and rural outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. Unfortunately, without congressional action this tremendous resource to states will expire at the end of this month.
I write to request that you support H.R. 502, which was reported from the House Committee on Natural Resources last week, and to urge your leadership to make this a priority in the coming days.
This bill provides for the permanent reauthorization of the LWCF and will ensure that the Fund will continue to enable new recreational opportunities for future generations in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
LWCF grants have improved thousands of communities throughout the Commonwealth and have helped fund significant improvements in our award-winning State Parks. Projects range in size from large, high-profile undertakings-- like the rehabilitation of the Big Savage Tunnel, a key point along the Great Allegheny Passage trail-- to more local initiatives, such as the rehabilitation of Milltown Dam Park in Chester County.
Federal projects have added to the Appalachian Trail, rehabilitated historic Valley Forge National Park and enabled dozens of other projects across the state.
Last week I attended a moving event at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville PA, marking the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our nation and memorializing the 40 passengers and crew who lost their lives on Pennsylvania soil that day.
LWCF funds were instrumental in enabling the creation of that fitting memorial as a place of reflection and tribute to all who lost their lives on that tragic day.
Tremendous strides have been made in meeting local outdoor recreation needs thanks to the LWCF in Pennsylvania.
The 40 percent guaranteed funding to the states in the bill will address greatly needed infrastructure upgrades, meet new health and safety requirements, and respond to changing population trends.
Parks created through this visionary law provide areas that will forever be available to address the needs of our youth, adults, seniors, and those of all abilities.
I am requesting your support for permanent reauthorization of the Act. Your commitment is critical to carry forward the visionary legacy of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”
Click Here for a copy of the letter.
In Pennsylvania
To date LWCF has provided more than $309 million in funding support to Pennsylvania, from well-known places like the Appalachian Trail and the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon County to local projects like public park development and improvement in counties and municipalities across Pennsylvania.
Click Here for more background on LWCF projects funded in Pennsylvania.
Contact your Representative and Senator in Congress to let them know you support LWCF and want to see it both reauthorized and fully used for its intended purpose – to protect natural, cultural, and recreational opportunities in Pennsylvania.
For more information on this issue, visit the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition website.
Related Stories:
Op-Ed: Congress Needs To Permanently Reauthorize Land & Water Conservation Fund - Ed Perry

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