Cantwell, Colleagues Announce Bipartisan Deal to Fully and Permanently Fund LWCF

Bipartisan agreement also includes billions in funding for deferred maintenance at National Parks throughout the country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal to permanently fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provide billions of dollars for deferred maintenance projects at National Parks throughout the country.

Cantwell, a leading congressional champion of the LWCF, introduced bipartisan legislation that permanently reauthorized the fund last year and has led the fight for full mandatory funding for the conservation program.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is essential to making sure Washingtonians can enjoy our amazing public lands and urban green spaces,” Senator Cantwell said. “Our own Scoop Jackson created and championed this program over a half century ago, but over the years it has been short-changed by more than $20 billion. That’s why I am so grateful that our years of effort to get full and permanent funding for LWCF now has the bipartisan support we need to make it the law of the land. Passing this legislation and at the same time addressing the unacceptable maintenance backlog at National Parks like Olympic and Mt. Rainier will be a huge boost for the outdoor recreation economy.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is our country’s most successful conservation program. Since its creation, LWCF has supported more than 42,000 state and local projects in communities across the country and more than 600 projects in Washington state, including popular recreation sites such as Olympic National Park, Lake Chelan, and Riverside State Park. Thousands of Washingtonians have benefited from access to trails and outdoor recreation opportunities, as well as clean air and water preservation, which would not have been possible without the conservation funding provided by LWCF.

The fund also helps support Washington state’s robust outdoor recreation economy, which is responsible for 201,000 direct jobs, $26.2 billion in annual consumer spending, and $7.6 billion in wages and salaries.

In addition to Cantwell, U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) helped announced the deal.