For the first time in the program’s 50-year history, Congress failed to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund this year.
The program, which expired on Sept. 30, has been used for a variety of popular Idaho projects such as the Boise Greenbelt, Ghormley Park in Moscow, the Pocatello Zoo, Snake River Park in Idaho Falls, and Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene.
The fund has also been used to secure public access to the City of Rocks, Clearwater Wild and Scenic River, Craters of the Moon, Middle Fork Salmon Wild and Scenic River, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, St. Joe Wild and Scenic River and the South Fork Snake River.
While the U.S. Senate passed a measure to reauthorize the program, it has been held hostage by Rob Bishop (R-UT) and other House Republicans. They don’t want the fund to be used to acquire lands for public ownership. Instead, Bishop and others are advocating for the transfer of public lands to states.
Unsatisfied by inaction in the House, Idaho’s Rep. Mike Simpson introduced legislation to reauthorized the program (H.B. 4151).
ICL applauds Rep. Simpson for stepping up to help rescue the popular conservation program.
Please take a moment to thank him for his leadership.