U.S. Senators Tom Udall D-N.M., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., have announced more than $500,000 in funding for the state of New Mexico through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
The designated resources will help fund outdoor recreation and conservation projects as part of a $43 million investment in all 50 states, the territories and the District of Columbia.
“New Mexico is blessed with precious lands that are a part of our culture and way of life,” Luján said. “Ensuring the protection and preservation of our land and water is essential and the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides important resources that help create more opportunities for our communities to enjoy the great outdoors. In addition, investments in outdoor recreation strengthen an important sector that contributes to New Mexico’s economy and creates jobs in our communities.”
“Outdoor activities are an essential part of New Mexico’s history and identity,” Udall said. “Access to public parks, ball fields, and green spaces and other outdoor recreational areas is essential to the health of our children and families, and helps to boost the economy of New Mexico communities by creating and supporting tourism and recreation jobs.”
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a critical tool that ensures we have the resources necessary to conserve recreational lands for all of us to enjoy now, and for future generations,” Heinrich said. “New Mexico gains from policies that increase access to our treasured landscapes. Job creation is directly tied to outdoor recreation across our state, where hunting, fishing, and camping drive an enormous portion of our economy.”
For the past 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped increase access to outdoor recreation resources by providing funds to federal, state, and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands. The primary source of revenue to LWCF is from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. Over the past five decades, New Mexico has received nearly $250 million to help fund projects in the Santa Fe National Forest, the Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the Bandelier National Monument. This year New Mexico is receiving $507,107. A recent analysis found that every $1 invested in land acquisition through LWCF generated a $4 return on the investment.