From piney woods to coastal marshes, Louisiana is home to some of the most uniquely beautiful landscapes in the United States. As the former owner of Pelican Gas Management and current Senator for Louisiana’s 36th District, I understand the challenges of protecting these landscapes while developing our natural resources.
Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or “LWCF,” in 1964 with the simple idea that a portion of offshore drilling fees could be used to protect parks, forests, and wildlife areas. LWCF allows government and industry to work together to make sustainable development possible. Although chronically underfunded, LWCF has supported many of Louisiana’s most valuable outdoor parks and recreational sites.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is an enormous economic benefit for our state. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that outdoor recreation generates over $15 billion per year in consumer spending, with over $1 billion in state and local tax revenue, and over 145,000 jobs for Louisianans.
Unfortunately, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is set to expire in 2015. I urge Congress to reauthorize this worthwhile program and ensure that the revenue it collects from the oil and gas industry goes where it was originally intended to go — to protect our most treasured parks and landscapes for generations to come.
Very truly yours,
Senate District 36