The reform package for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), drafted by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), create minimum funding levels for training oil and natural gas workers, an urban parks program and grants to states, among other provisions.
“The discussion draft represents a departure from the act’s fundamental goals,” Sarri told the committee Wednesday. “It proposes prescriptive limits on efforts to create, protect and preserve public access to some of our nation’s most important outdoor spaces.”
She also objected to the strict limitations on buying new federal land, saying that more than 99 percent of recent land acquisitions under the fund have been to fill gaps in land holdings, saving the government money.
The Obama administration joins most Democrats, environmental groups and numerous Republicans in opposing Bishop’s bill.
“His radical new bill is miles apart from the original intent of the program, which is to conserve places for future generations and increase outdoor recreation opportunities across the country,” Andy French of the League of Conservation Voters said.