(Washington, D.C.) -- Last week, Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands sent a delegation of state lawmakers from across the country, all of whom are U.S. military veterans, to Capitol Hill to urge Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), America’s most important conservation and recreation program.
LWCF grants have contributed to infrastructure developments and conservation measures that protect and enhance America’s national parks, national forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, and over 40,000 state and local park projects across the nation. LWCF is set to expire on September 30, 2018.
The delegation of members from Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public included:
In the back row: Delegate Pat Young, Maryland, Marines, Rep. Paul Evans, Oregon, Air Force/National Guard, Sen. Rick Kolowski, Nebraska, Marine
In the front row: Rep. Debbie Marie Sarinana, New Mexico, Air Force, Assembly Member Félix Ortiz, New York, Army, Rep. Michael Sheehy, Ohio, Army
These elected officials met with the following Members of Congress:
- Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
- Sen. Jeff Merkley (OR)
- Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM)
- Sen. Tom Udall (NM)
- Sen. Angus King (ME)
- Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-4)
They also met with staffers from these congressional offices:
- Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY)
- Sen. Rob Portman (OH)
EOPA elected officials with Sen. Wyden - the tallest man in the center of the photo
Ahead of meetings on September 6, Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke urging him to do everything in his power to protect the LWCF. An elected official from every state in the nation signed the letter which was displayed on a Washington Post Capitol Hill Wrap on Thursday morning.
As of September 11th, 79 elected officials who are also veterans have signed the letter to Sec. Zinke online.