Originally published by Jared Fisher, Las Vegas Sun
December 17th, 2019
It’s time again for Congress to pass a budget and avert a government shutdown. Many programs hang in the balance, including one that could help save the future of our beloved Red Rock Canyon: The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of America’s best conservation programs. At no cost to taxpayers, it uses fees from offshore drilling to fund conservation projects on the mainland, and has funded projects in every county in the country. In fact, the fund helped Nevada acquire Spring Mountain Ranch, then privately owned, in the 1970s; today the ranch is a popular state park within Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Similar conservation efforts could be funded within Red Rock in the future. But only if it gets the money it needs. This year, Congress voted, with major bipartisan support, to permanently reauthorize the program, but it has yet to be funded.
It’s surprising to see such a popular and important program get its funding delayed or averted again and again. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen of Nevada, as well as Nevada Reps. Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford, all support full and permanent funding for LWCF.
Now, the clock is ticking for Congress to fund LWCF before Friday for next year’s budget to pass. For the sake of Red Rock and other public lands, our lawmakers must listen to Nevadans and other LWCF beneficiaries throughout the country and finally fully and permanently fund this program.