Many of us just spent a long weekend with family and friends in bustlingly warm kitchens and cozily crowded dining rooms. We took some time out to share our gratitude for each other, for our time on Earth and for our good fortune to live in such a beautiful corner of the world. And then many of us got outside into the coolness to enjoy a bit of rain-soaked hiking, to work off some of that stuffing and maybe take a deep breath.
Congress is getting back to work this week, too, and our friends from the LWCF Coalition are in Washington, D.C., to let them know that Americans’ shared outdoor treasures deserve protection.
Astute blog readers may remember that the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) expired at the end of September, when Congress failed to reauthorize it, and may wonder why we’re still fighting for it. Well, we know LWCF has broad bipartisan support — not just in Congress but by Americans from every part of the US — and the “lame duck” Congress in session now can still save the program.
Despite being authorized to receive up to $900 million per year — without a single penny coming from taxpayers — Congress has only once appropriated that amount for LWCF. And while the program remains expired, nothing at all flows into the fund. We all lose the money that could be spent building ballfields, protecting battlefields and ensuring public access to trails and parks. (For a detailed look into the political machinations and practical implications of permanently reauthorizing and fully funding LWCF after its expiration, check out the Coalition’s blog post.)
All of us who go outside — for a vigorous uphill hike or just a deep breath of fresh, cool air — need Congress to reauthorize LWCF now, and we need your voice. Contact your members of Congress directly via email, or head on over to your favorite social media platform and tag your favorite Thanksgiving weekend outdoor selfie with #SaveLWCF.
We don’t want to have to start over in 2019. Tell Congress the time to act is now.
Header image by Leslie Schipper