As an individual who appreciates the great outdoors and all of its opportunities, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is personal to me. I have seen firsthand how important LWCF is for preserving and increasing sportsmen’s access and bettering wildlife habitat, so hunters and anglers can use and enjoy public land for the pursuits that they love most.
Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital to attend the kickoff of a one-year countdown to save LWCF before it expires. Lawmakers from both parties joined LWCF advocates at the foot of the U.S. Capitol and vowed to prevent America’s most important conservation program from disappearing. Uncommon allies united for a common cause, and reiterated their commitment to make LWCF permanent.
It was exciting to see elected officials from across the country stand up and be counted. Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina and Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington were joined by other Senators and Congressmen from Montana, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and both Senators from my home state of New Mexico.
Senator Martin Heinrich said it best, “We shouldn’t have to fight over things that are working.” I couldn’t agree more as the projects LWCF helps fund are making an enormous difference in our communities, our local economies and in protecting our nations’ land, water and wildlife. The rally left me feeling enthusiastic and reenergized for the battle ahead. After concluding a successful series of meetings with lawmakers in Washington D.C., I returned home reinvigorated and ready to continue advocating for public land, outdoor recreation and sportsmen’s access.
I hope you’ll join me and learn more about how LWCF has impacted your state and region, and take a few moments to let your U.S. Representatives and Senators know how important public lands, parks and the outdoors are to you and your family. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we must take action today to protect and preserve our most precious resources, our land, water and wildlife.
Andrew Black is the Director of Community Relations, Education, and Veterans Outreach for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, which recently celebrating 100 years of Sportsmen-Based Conservation in New Mexico.