10.02.18

Gardner Backed LWCF and National Parks Legislation Advance out of Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Several Other Gardner Initiatives Also Advance

 

hearing screenshot

 

Click here or on photo above to view remarks from hearing.

Washington, DC – On Tuesday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) serves on, advanced out of committee several pieces of legislation important to Colorado.  

Included in the hearing was S. 569, the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act. This legislation, of which Senator Gardner is a cosponsor, aims to fully fund and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Authorization for LWCF expired on September 30th, and Senator Gardner has been working with a bipartisan group, including Senator Bennet, to reauthorize the conservation program.

“I’ve been fighting to protect the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and today was an important step for the Senate to move out of committee a bipartisan measure that permanently reauthorizes this critical program for Colorado’s public lands,” said Senator Gardner. “There is no excuse on why we can’t get this done as there is a clear bipartisan consensus in both the House and Senate on the immense benefits of this crown jewel of conservation programs.” 

Also passing out of committee in today’s hearing was S.3172, the Restore our Parks Act. This legislation, of which Senator Gardner is also a cosponsor, addresses the $12 billion park maintenance backlog that is preventing new investments and infrastructure improvements to parks in Colorado and across the country. This measure would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” and reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating half of the existing unobligated revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development - up to $1.3 billion per year - for the next five years. 

“We have to provide Colorado’s parks the funding necessary to help address the billions of dollars in deferred maintenance that the park system is currently facing,” said Senator Gardner. “The Restore our Parks Act will protect these lands by allowing for needed investments for park infrastructure and preservation projects.”   

Click here to view Senator Gardner speaking about the legislation on the Senate floor earlier this year and to view a list of more than $238 million in maintenance backlog at Colorado parks.

 

Additional Gardner Backed Measures Advancing out of committee on Tuesday:

S. 2870 Amache Study Act-Authored by Senator Gardner and cosponsored by Senator Bennet, this legislation would assess the historical significance of Amache, a former Japanese American relocation center in Granada, and determine the feasibility of the site becoming part of the National Park System.

S.2290 Wildfire Management Technology Advancement Act of 2017- This legislation authored by Senator Gardner is a bill designed to bring firefighting agencies into the 21st century. It increases firefighter safety by requiring the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to begin providing GPS locations for crews on wildfires and to begin using Unmanned Aircraft Systems to scout out and map wildfires in real-time.

S.2876 Pike National Historic Trail Study Act-This legislation authored by Senator Bennet and cosponsored by Senator Gardner could result in the designation of explorer Zebulon Pike’s route through the American Southwest – including significant stretches in Colorado. It would direct the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility study on making it a National Historic Trail.

S. 2166, Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act of 2017- This legislation authored by Senator Gardner and cosponsored by Senator Bennet maintains annual base funding for the Upper Colorado and San Juan fish recovery programs through fiscal year 2023. Requires a report on the implementation of those programs. 

 

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.