Now that Congress is back at work, a public lands bill that includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is finally moving forward. An initial vote on the public lands package was finally held in the Senate, where it passed without harmful amendments. A final vote on the bill is expected next week.
This action is long overdue as authorization for the program lapsed with the end of the last fiscal year, on Sept. 30, 2018. Lawmakers from both parties worked hard to try to get it reauthorized as part of the larger public lands package before the end of the year, but were unable to do so. Both Colorado senators, Republican Cory Gardner and Democrat Michael Bennett, worked hard in that effort.
We applaud Sen. Gardner and Sen. Bennett for continuing to push to get a vote on the bill and to support permanent reauthorization of LWCF. As a leader in the GOP-controlled Senate, Gardner was particularly instrumental in ensuring the measure received a vote.
If the bill passes the Senate as expected, it will still have to be approved in the House. Last year, the Republican-controlled House passed a slightly different version of the LWCF reauthorization, and 3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton voted for it. We hope the congressman will support the Senate version of the measure as part of the public lands package when it comes to a vote in the Democrat-controlled House.
LWCF has played a key role in improving public lands availability and access throughout the country, and it has been especially important in western Colorado. Reauthorizing the program has broad bipartisan support. We hope it is approved quickly.
Please let our Senators and Congressman know you support this fund!
Senator Cory Gardner Grand Junction Office: (970) 245-9553
Senator Michael Bennet Grand Junction Office: (970) 241-6631
Congressman Scott Tipton Grand Junction Office: (970) 241-2499