O'Halleran Calls for Reauthorization of Conservation Fund that Supports AZ Economy
VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK – Today, following the expiration of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) denounced congressional leaders’ failure to reauthorize this critical conservation program.
“For more than five decades, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has allowed communities throughout Arizona to protect our nation’s natural treasures, wildlife habitats, waterways, and the rich cultural heritage of Native Americans. There is nothing more important than the protection of our most precious public lands and parks. Congress has failed the American people by not taking more decisive action to reauthorize this program,” said Rep. O’Halleran.
Since its creation, LWCF has invested more than $228 million in Arizona parks, forests, and other public lands, including the Coconino National Forest and the Grand Canyon National Park in the First Congressional District. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the LWCF investments support Arizona’s $21.2 billion outdoor recreation industry, as well as the 201,000 jobs, $5.7 billion in wages and salaries, and $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue that come from our public lands.
“Congressional leaders have left important work on the table and sent us home for the next month and a half. It is clear they are more focused on politics and campaigning than the economic needs of our rural communities and the conservation of our national treasures,” continued O’Halleran. “We have a responsibility to get this bipartisan legislation passed and fully fund this critical program."
O’Halleran co-sponsored bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives to reauthorize the LWCF. It passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee in September.