The Conservation Fund Applauds House Passage of CLEAR Act
July 30, 2010
U.S. Capitol. Photo by Cliff1066/Flickr
Arlington, VA — The Conservation Fund today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act (H.R. 3534), which, among other things, provides full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund, said, “We commend the vision and leadership of the U.S. House and Representative Nick Rahall for passing this historic legislation.” Representative Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, sponsored the CLEAR Act.
Established by Congress in 1965, LWCF is a visionary and bipartisan program that uses a small fraction of federal revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling leases to reinvest in permanent natural resource protection. The CLEAR Act provides $900 million annually for LWCF funding to conserve our nation’s outstanding natural resources for future generations. The Senate is considering a similar provision in its version of the bill.
Through federal land acquisition and grants to states, LWCF has had an impact in every state and in almost every county in America, creating and enhancing national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other federal public lands that provide public access to recreation in urban, suburban and rural areas alike. LWCF also provides grants to states for projects like parks, sports fields, swimming pools, playgrounds and trails. In addition, LWCF has funded the protection of over 1.5 million acres of working forests in over 30 states and has helped federal and state agencies conserve historic and cultural sites that are part of our nation’s rich and diverse history.
The Conservation Fund has used funding from LWCF to protect places like Rocky Fork in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest, Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas and the Rocky Mountain Front Conservation Area in Montana. Last year alone we helped put more than $7.25 million into the ground at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in New Hampshire and the Lesser Prairie Chicken Area of Critical Environmental Concern in New Mexico.
A renewed investment in LWCF will provide lasting economic benefits to communities, protect water quality and help landowners achieve their conservation goals for their lands. Through today’s historic vote, the U.S. House will leave a lasting natural legacy for future generations.
The Conservation Fund is a part of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition, an informal partnership of national, state and local conservation and recreation organizations working together to support full and dedicated funding for LWCF.
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.