Funding Essential to Preservation
During her first town hall meeting, newly elected Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler was asked a question regarding the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Congresswoman said she does not support the use of federal funds for conservation efforts unless it is constitutional or affects her constituents socially.
In her new role as the vice chair of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, I would like to remind the Congresswoman that, through an Act of Congress in 1964, the LWCF was authorized to receive $900 million annually from offshore oil and gas leases. It is not an earmark, and it is not unconstitutional.
LWCF does affect her constituents directly and impacts them far beyond obvious environmental benefits. It gives us clean water, supports jobs and local economies, protects our shared cultural heritage, maintains healthy communities, and provides a promising future for our grandchildren.
Many Southwest Washington residents identify strongly with Mount St. Helen’s National Volcanic Monument, the Willapa and Ridgefield national wildlife refuges and the White Salmon Wild and Scenic River — all areas preserved through LWCF.
Unfortunately, LWCF’s promise suffers from chronic under-funding, potentially from misunderstandings like those shown by Herrera Beutler