Today, conservationists mark the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the American Trails System. One of ConservAmerica’s “hall of famers,” the late Pennsylvania Congressman John Saylor was instrumental in the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. (He played a similar role with the hallowed Wilderness Act, too.)
So, it’s as if the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee wanted to celebrate the anniversaries by voting out some great legislation today.
We’re proud to share that the committee sent permanent and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the full Senate! LWCF has been around a bit longer than 50 years, and is more likely to have funded a neighborhood park, ball field, or trail as it has the acquisition of large landscapes. LWCF programming touches all our lives — from urban dwellers to those who live off the grid near national forests.
The committee also passed the Restore Our Parks Act, which calls for $6.5 billion in funding to address the maintenance backlog in our parks.
In total, the committee passed 47 agenda items this morning–almost all accretive to America’s natural resources. With a strong deference to our nation’s crown jewels, the senators withdrew land in Montana’s gorgeous Paradise Valley from the federal government’s mining/drilling program, to insure the “front door” to the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, remains forever welcoming.
Special thanks go to Sens. Murkowski, Cantwell, Burr, Udall, Daines, Gardner, Alexander, Tester, and Portman for their tireless work to insure future generations of American’s have access to and use of public lands, clean water, clean air, and healthy forests.