Where do you go to play with your kids?
So many of us rely on our neighborhood park, path, playground or sports field, and our national parks, forests or monuments to get outside with our kids. Whether we want to make sure they are getting enough exercise, want to pry them away from the video games or just get them out to have some fun, many of these play destinations have something in common – they are made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
The LWCF uses funds from offshore energy development — not taxpayers — to protect our natural resources, cultural heritage and to ensure access to recreational opportunities. Some years Congress allocates more funding for projects than others, but nearly every county in Colorado has received funding for outdoor play from the LWCF.
LWCF has created countless projects in Colorado, sometimes by providing a financial match to local and state resources like GOCO. For my family, it’s meant hiking at Golden Gate and Roxborough State Parks. You can check out some of your local projects here.
Sadly, the LWCF program that makes all this possible is in jeopardy.
President Trump attempted to cut the LWCF fund by 98% in his budget proposal this year but because the LWCF enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, we’ve been able to maintain the program with some basic funding. LWCF is set to expire this September and the Administration wants to shut it down. Without the Land and Water Conservation Fund, our ability to protect natural resources and federal public lands as well as the ability to support states as they create recreation for all, will be decimated. We need to fight to protect the LWCF!
Fortunately, both of our U.S. Senators, Senator Michael Bennet and Senator Cory Gardner, have been champions of the LWCF. Let’s thank them but also ask that they work to permanently reauthorize LWCF before it expires in September. Many of us raise our children here in Colorado for the outdoor lifestyle. We need to help ensure our open spaces and parks will be here for our kids in the future.
You can find the local office or email both Senator Michael Bennet and Senator Cory Gardner from their websites. You can also give them a shout on social media @SenCoryGardner and @SenBennetCO. Ask that they permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it expires! And be sure to share picture of you and your family enjoying Colorado’s outdoors and use the hashtag #LWCF.