ALBUQUERQUE — James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding the failure of Congress to move a public lands package that included the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF):
“We are disappointed that Congress was unable to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund as part of the continuing resolution they passed before recessing for the holidays. The LWCF has been instrumental in preserving so many of New Mexico’s beautiful parks, lakes, forests, and monuments. We call on the 116th Congress to reauthorize the LWCF and legislate mandatory full funding for it when Congress reconvenes in 2019.
“Since its inception in 1965, the LWCF has been one of our nation’s most successful conservation tools, providing funding for access to public lands, acquisition of lands for our national parks, monuments, forests, wildlife refuges, and other conservation lands, andimprovement of city parks. In New Mexico the fund has benefited natural treasures like the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Eagle Nest Lake, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Parks, and the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque’s South Valley, to name but a few.
“We want to thank those members of our congressional delegation who fought hard for this reauthorization – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham. We laud them for their hard work to keep these New Mexico gems open for families, backpackers, and other outdoors enthusiasts, and pristine for future generations.
“We look forward to working with Senators Udall and Heinrich, Representative Lujan, and incoming Representatives Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small to reauthorize the LWCF and secure mandatory full funding for it in the 116th Congress.”