For Immediate Release
Contact: Carrie Hamblen, Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, 575-496-5242
62 New Mexico Businesses Call on Congress to Renew and Fully Fund Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
For 50 years, LWCF has invested billions creating parks and protecting public lands; Congress must act before September 30, 2015 to renew program
(SANTA FE) – Sixty-two New Mexico business representatives this week joined a growing national chorus by sending a letter calling on Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the venerable Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is due to expire in September 2015.
Since its inception in 1965, the Land and Water Conservation fund has helped enhance and protect thousands of city parks and ball fields, national parks, national monuments, watersheds and places that are critically important to our shared American heritage. Over this time, the fund is responsible for the creation of hundreds-of-thousands of jobs in construction and the outdoor recreation industry. And because LWCF is funded by offshore drilling royalties, it has accomplished all of this without one cent of taxpayer money.
“Unfortunately, there are some in Congress who just don’t get it and would let LWCF expire,” said Glenn Schiffbauer, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce. “LWCF has benefitted our country and New Mexico in immeasurable ways. If you take your kids to recreate in a local park or national forest in New Mexico, there’s a good chance LWCF helped make that opportunity possible. Thankfully, New Mexico has strong champions for LWCF in Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich.”
In the business’s letter, addressed to the leadership of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (SENR), New Mexico businesses outline the program’s impact on New Mexico including funding the establishment and enhancement of places such as Petroglyphs and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monuments; Valles Caldera National Preserve; El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail; and Chaco Culture National Historical Park to name a few. In addition, the fund has also made more than 1,000 grants in the state, totaling more than $41 million to build and enhance local parks in every New Mexico county.
The business letter has been submitted in advance of an SENR hearing about LWCF scheduled for today.
“We hope Congress gets the message and sees that LWCF has broad support from businesses from all across New Mexico. This is not just a conservation issue, it’s an economic issue as thousands of American jobs and businesses are supported by this great program,” said Carrie Hamblen, Executive Director of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce.