McGovern Applauds $900 Million White House Proposal to Support Public Lands in Massachusetts and Across the Country
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) applauded President Obama’s proposal to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to support public lands in Massachusetts and across the country. In December 2015, Congressman McGovern joined Republicans and Democrats to pass the bipartisan Omnibus appropriations bill that reauthorized the LWCF for three years to strengthen the conservation efforts it supports.
In his FY17 budget, President Obama calls for investing $900 million in conservation and recreation projects – with a portion of the revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling that are deposited in the fund each year – through a combination of discretionary ($475 million) and mandatory ($425 million) funding. This culminates a multi-year strategy leading to full permanent funding for the Fund in 2018.
“Massachusetts has benefitted greatly from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and this proposal to fully fund the program is a strong step as we work to continue all the good it has accomplished,” Congressman McGovern said. “From the Midstate Trail in Princeton to the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Central Massachusetts, the LWCF has helped to bring millions of dollars to Massachusetts, preserving our beautiful open spaces and pumping money into our local economies.
“In December, I was proud to join Democrats and Republicans in Congress as we came together to reauthorize and support the LWCF, but we need to do more,” McGovern added. “Fully funding the program is the next step to ensure we do all we can to protect our great outdoors in Massachusetts and across the country. I will continue to work with the White House and members of Congress to ensure we fulfill that promise for today’s families and the next generation.”
These investments proposed in President Obama’s FY17 Budget – using voluntary conservation tools like easements and purchases from willing sellers – respond to local communities’ priorities. They will conserve public lands in or near national parks, refuges, and forests, including landscapes identified for collaborative, strategic conservation; increase access for hunting and fishing; protect historic battlefields; and provide grants to states for close-to-home recreation and conservation projects on non-federal lands. In fact, the program has supported more than 42,000 national, state and local parks and outdoor recreation projects in all 50 states.