Sen. Cantwell Honored as a Champion of Nature by The Nature Conservancy

Washington, DC-- The Nature Conservancy in Washington honored Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with its “Champion of Nature” award today.

Byron Bishop, chair of the Washington Board of Trustees, presented the award in person as he and other trustees and staff traveled to Capitol Hill to discuss several conservation issues currently facing Congress.

“Sen. Cantwell has consistently led the fight for the health and conservation of Washington’s lands and waters,” said Byron Bishop, chair of the Washington Chapter Board of Trustees. “We are so grateful for her visionary leadership, which has benefited the families and businesses of Washington and the entire country. She has been a consistent champion for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and for restoring the health of our forests.”

Fifty years after the Land and Water Conservation Fund was created, it is still a national treasure and one of our most successful conservation laws. This program has provided countless opportunities for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation – which supports millions of jobs nationwide. I remain committed to using every opportunity to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the LWCF.
— Sen. Cantwell, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

While presenting the award, the Conservancy and some of its volunteer leaders from Washington noted the importance of lands and waters to their families and their businesses.

In the Capitol Hill meetings, representatives of Conservancy focused on actions Congress could take to help nature be a part of the solution to improve our nation’s economy, health and well-being. Specifically, they asked Congress to renew and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expired on September 30 after a successful 50-year history of conserving places in every state in the nation. They also focused on other ways to ensure sustainable funding for conservation programs and efforts to secure a cleaner and more secure energy future.

Nationally, outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation, and historic preservation provide a minimum $1.7 trillion in economic impact in the U.S. and support 12.8 million jobs. (Southwick study, May 2013) In Washington, outdoor recreation generates $22.5 billion dollars in consumer spending.