SEATTLE, WA – The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, a non-profit citizens group, announced today that it will show its appreciation for Congressman Dave Reichert’s leadership with new billboard ads. The Coalition is buying ads on five billboards to let the public know that the Congressman cast a critical vote to preserve funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
During debate over H.R.1, a bill to fund the federal government for FY 2011, an amendment by Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to eliminate funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was narrowly defeated. The LWCF funds support federal land acquisitions of vulnerable parklands and waters as an offset to negative consequences from offshore oil and gas drilling. Reichert was one of thirty-two Republicans who voted against the amendment.
“This billboard advertising demonstrates the depth of our appreciation for Congressman Reichert’s leadership in saving the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” declared Executive Director of the Coalition, Joanna Grist. She continued, “At a critical moment, he stood up for what is right. He deserves our praise as we need leaders like Congressman Dave Reichert to keep this program alive and funded.”
Beginning Monday, March 28th, these billboards can be seen along Interstate 90 in Issaquah, Renton and Kent, as well as two locations along Interstate 5 in Tukwila.
Even with the defeat of the Lummis amendment, the battle to preserve funding for the LWCF is far from over. H.R. 1 would have imposed an unprecedented 87% cut from FY2010 enacted funding levels. In sharp contrast, President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget reflects a renewed commitment to conservation and recreation, recommending full funding for LWCF at $900 million – a level achieved only once in the program’s history. While it appears that H.R. 1 is now dead, the fate of LWCF funding is still uncertain.
Created by Congress in 1965, the LWCF is funded primarily from oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. It helps protect our national parks, critical wildlife habitats and endangered landscapes. In Washington’s 8th Congressional District, represented by Congressman Reichert, LWCF grants have helped fund conservation efforts in a wide variety of areas, including Mount Rainier National Park, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
These billboard ads are the second wave of advertising thanking Congressman Reichert. In February, the Coalition bought a half-page newspaper ad in the Bellevue Reporter to thank the Congressman for “supporting a strong economy and protecting our natural heritage for future generations.”