Sign to protect our public land and water

Hon. Ryan Zinke
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

June 7, 2018

Dear Secretary Zinke,

We, the undersigned, are elected officials who represent every state in the United States. We are veterans who took an oath to serve and protect America — our Constitution, our people, and our nation's land.

For more than 50 years Land and Water Conservation Fund, (LWCF), grants have contributed to infrastructure developments and conservation measures that protect and enhance our national parks, national forests, monuments, wildlife refuges, and over 40,000 state and local park projects across our nation. 

After coming back from a deployment or a set of orders, being able to relax and enjoy our public lands with family and friends is an important and wonderful part of coming home. Many of us kept the tradition of hiking, fishing, hunting and relaxing by the water after transitioning into the civilian world - and passed it onto our children. It is important to protect our public lands for years to come so that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy America's lands. 

Our national treasures drive the economy in rural communities. They attract families, employees, businesses, and entrepreneurs, which desire a quality of life that only comes from being in close proximity to public lands.

One of the fastest growing sectors of our economy is outdoor recreation, which contributes $887 billion and supports 7.6 million jobs. A Bureau of Economic Analysis study found that the outdoor recreation economy was growing at 3.8 percent. Every $1 of LWCF funds invested results in a return of $4 in economic value.

The bipartisan LWCF is one of our most successful conservation programs because it draws on funds from offshore oil and gas royalties, not taxpayers, to expand, develop, and improve public lands for recreational areas, conservation, and the preservation of natural ecosystems.

Unfortunately, funding for this more than 50-year program runs out at the end of September 2018. Many of the land deals that LWCF helps support locally can be complicated real estate transactions that involve private landowners, local governments, federal and state officials, banks and local charities. These deals can take years and stakeholders need to plan with clarity.

Generations of Americans have visited our public lands. For many, these trips have become annual pilgrimages connecting families with our country’s roots while creating lasting memories. Our land is intrinsic to who we are as people.

We urge you to do all that you can to ensure the continued reauthorization of the LWCF at its full amount to ensure prosperous investments in America’s battlefields, monuments, and all public lands.

We all need the LWCF funds to continue to expand, develop, and improve public lands for recreational areas, conservation, the preservation of natural ecosystems and our national heritage.

Very Respectfully,

County Supervisor Ted Alejandre California, Air Force

Rep. John Gannon
Idaho, Army

Sen. Antonio Muñoz
Illinois, Army

Rep. Robert Alley Sr.
Maine, Navy

Rep. Jim Gartner
Kansas, Marines

Sen. Josh Newman
California, Army

Rep. Joseph Almeida
Rhode Island, Marines

Rep. Neal Goodman
Pennsylvania, Marines

Sen. Clarence Nishihara
Hawaii, Army

Assembly Member Elliot Anderson
Nevada, Marines

Rep Bill Hitchens
Georgia, Marines

Assembly Member Felix Ortiz
New York, Army

Rep. Richard Andrade
Arizona, Air Force

Rep. Timothy Horrigan
New Hampshire, USACE

Sen. Catherine Osten
Connecticut, Army

Delegate John Bell
Virginia, Air Force

Rep. Pam Hunter
New York, Army

Sen. Stephan Pappas
Wyoming, National Guard

Rep. César Blanco
Texas, Navy

Delegate Richard Iaquinta
West Virgina, Army

Rep. Antonio Parkinson
Tennessee, Marines

Sen. Larry Boggs
Oklahoma, Air Force

Mayor Gary Jarvis
Florida, Air Force

Sen. David Parks
Nevada, Air Force

Sen. David Bradley
Arizona, Navy

Mayor Richard Kerr
California, Marines

Rep. John Persell
Minnesota, Air Force

Rep. Tom Burch
Kentucky, Navy

Council Member John Marc Knight
Utah, Army

Rep. David Potter
Vermont, Air Force

Rep. Mark Cardenas
Arizona, Army

Sen. Rick Kolowski
Nebraska, Marines

Sen. Ronald Rice
New Jersey, Marines

Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia
Illinois, Army

Assembly Member Al Kramer
Nevada, Army

Sen. Arthur Rusch
South Dakota, Army

Sen. Frank Ciccone III
Rhode Island, Army

Sen. Carlo Leone
Connecticut, Air Force

Rep. Randy Rushing
Mississippi, Air Force

Rep. Herb Conaway Jr.
New York, Air Force

School Board Simone Lightfoot
Michigan, Air Force

Rep. Nick L. Salazar
New Mexico, Air Force

Sen. Ronnie Cromer
South Carolina, Army/Nat'l Guard

Rep. Thomas Longstaff
Maine, Marines

Rep. Debra Marie Sariana
New Mexico, Air Force

Sen. Jeff Danielson
Iowa, Navy

Assembly Member William
Magnarelli New York, Army Reserve

Rep. Dean Schamore
Kentucky, Navy

Sen. Gerald Dial
Alabama, Army/National Guard

Sen. Richard Marcellais
North Dakota, Army

Rep. Michael Sheehy
Ohio, Army

Council Member Mike Dryden
Alaska, Army

Rep. Grier Martin
North Carolina, Army

Sen. Frank Smith
Montana, Air Force

Rep. Larry Dunphy
Maine, Navy

Sen. Fred S.  Martin
Idaho, National Guard

Sen. Gregory Tarver
Louisiana, Army

Rep. Mark Ellebracht
Missouri, Army

Sen. Fred Martin
Idaho, National Guard

Rep. Jose Tosado
Massachusetts, Navy

Sen. Bruce Ennis
Delaware, National Guard

Rep. Stephen McCarter
Pennsylvania, Army Reserve

Rep. Joseph Troiano
Vermont, Army

Rep. Paul Evans
Oregon, Air Force/National Guard

Sen. John McCoy
Washington, Air Force

Council Member John Villegas
California, Army

Rep. Dave Fern
Montana, Coast Guard

Rep. James McLaughlin
Rhode Island, Army

Rep. David Whitaker
Arkansas, Air Force

Del. Robert Flanagan,
Maryland, Navy

Council Member Benito Barrios,
California, Marines 

Rep. Rodolpho S. Martinez,
New Mexico, Air Force

Rep. Gary Howell,
Michigan, Army

Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx
Maine, Marines/Navy

Rep. Chuck Moseley
Indiana, National Guard

Rep Michael Finn
Massachusetts, National Guard

Sen. Mark Miller
Wisconsin, National Guard

Delegate Pat Young
Maryland, Marines

Council Member Ken Zornes
Colorado, Army
Rep. Larry Gagne
New Hampshire, Navy


GOAL: 80 signatures

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