AUSTIN - Almost four dozen Texas conservation, hunting, landowner and travel industry leaders wrote Senator John Cornyn today urging him to support the Great American Outdoors Act, currently under debate in the U.S. Senate. This bill would permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually and provide $9.5 billion over five years to fix maintenance problems that are plaguing America’s public lands.
The group urged Sen. Cornyn, who is still considering how to vote on the bill, to support the bill to provide Texas with funding to support a $154 million maintenance backlog at Texas' 13 national parks, monuments and historical parks as well as grants for local and state park acquisition, development and repair.
The letter notes that "at a time when the country can feel so divided, it is important for members of Congress to come together and pass legislation that is popular and meaningful to the general public."
Texas has received more than half a billion dollars from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, supporting everything from the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge to the Angelina National Forest to Bastrop State Park to Lady Bird Lake. The letter noted that "Texans love our public lands. Last November, Texans overwhelmingly -- 88% -- voted for Prop 5, which secures funding for our state parks. That was the largest victory of a statewide conservation measure in American history."