The Land and Water Conservation Fund expired for the first time in its 50-year history as the clock struck midnight last night.

As I wrote in a previous blog, Idaho has benefited greatly from the LWCF over the years. The LWCF has been used to build playgrounds where our kids play and to secure access to some of the public lands where we hike, hunt and fish.

Despite a last ditch attempt by New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) to renew the fund yesterday, the measure failed when the Republican leadership in the Senate objected.

Meanwhile, Congress passed a continuing resolution to avert another government shutdown. However, the measure will only keep the government in operation until Dec 11.

It appears that the next attempt to renew the fund will occur when the next budget bill comes before Congress on Dec 11.

In the meantime, please ask Idaho’s congressional delegation to support reauthorization of the LWCF. Current and future generations of Idahoans stand to lose if the fund is not renewed.