PRINCETON, MA – Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) joined the Appalachian Mountain Club, Mass Audubon, and other state and local groups to hike the Midstate Trail to highlight the importance of fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF helps to protect and preserve the Midstate Trail and other sites in Massachusetts and across the country – ensuring families continue to have access to our country’s natural areas. The LWCF is set to expire September 30, 2015 and Congressman McGovern is pushing for its reauthorization and strong funding. Click here to view photos online.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of our country’s most successful land conservation and outdoor recreation programs. The Midstate Trail and so many other sites in Massachusetts and across the country have benefitted tremendously from stateside funding to preserve open space, maintain hiking trails, and develop recreation facilities,” Congressman McGovern said. “I am proud to support the incredible work of LWCF and I will fight to make sure that it’s reauthorized and funded at the highest possible level.”
Congressman McGovern is a longtime supporter of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In 1999, McGovern successfully led the effort to restore funding to the stateside portion of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, despite repeated attempts to defund the program. Joining McGovern on today’s hike were John Judge, President and CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club, and Gary Clayton, Mass Audubon’s Acting President and VP for Conservation Programs.
“Thanks to Congressman Jim McGovern's steadfast support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Midstate Trail and many other lands and trails in Massachusetts have been protected as treasured outdoor recreational resources,” said John Judge, President and CEO, Appalachian Mountain Club. “With the Land and Water Conservation Fund set to expire in September, the Midstate Trail as one of the preeminent hiking trails in central Massachusetts makes a strong case for reauthorization and full funding of this critical source of future conservation funding.”
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important tool for protecting lands within our national parks, forests, refuges, and other federal lands and for acquiring and maintaining our state and local parks and forest and wildlife areas,” said Gary Clayton Mass Audubon’s Acting President and VP for Conservation Programs.“From the Cape Cod National Seashore and Minuteman National Historic Park, to Wompatuck and Massasoit State Parks, to important areas like the Quabbin Reservoir and the Silvio Conte & Parker River Wildlife Refuges, LWCF funding has helped acquire and protect some of Massachusetts’s most unique public and historic landscapes.”
Also joining today’s event were members of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Mass Audubon, North County Land Trust, Mid State Trail Committee, Princeton Land Trust, Princeton Open Space Committee, and the Nashua River Watershed Association.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was created by Congress in 1965 as a bipartisan commitment to protect natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. LWCF uses revenues from offshore oil and gas to support conservation. Every year, $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf are put into this fund.