Gardner Secures Upcoming Vote on Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Reauthorization

Lands Bill Reintroduced Following Gardner Agreement


Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) applauded the reintroduction of a bipartisan package of more than 100 public lands, natural resources, and water bills on Tuesday.

Included in the lands package is permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Permanent reauthorization of LWCF has been one of Senator Gardner’s top priorities and he has been working with a bipartisan group to find a path forward to protect this conservation program. This lands package achieves that goal.

“Protecting the Land and Water Conservation fund and everything it does for Colorado’s public lands has been a top priority of mine, and I’m proud to announce that bipartisan legislation has been reintroduced to permanently reauthorize the program,” said Senator Gardner. “This legislation follows an agreement I helped broker in December with the Majority Leader and Minority Leader to bring this major victory for Colorado’s public lands to the floor early in the new Congress.”

The lands package was placed directly on the Senate calendar yesterday for expedited consideration. Senator Gardner along with Senators Murkowski (R-AK), Cantwell (D-WA), Wyden (D-OR), Daines (R-MT), and Heinrich (D-NM) reached agreement with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), late last year to consider the package early in the new Congress.

View here Senator Gardner speaking at a recent rally he was leading to reauthorize the LWCF.

The full text of the lands package can be found here, and the LWCF section is on page 448. 

NOTE: Downloadable File of Gardner Speaking on LWCF available here.

To view background on additional Gardner authored bills and cosponsored bills included in the package click here.

S. 36 – Crags, Colorado Land Exchange Act:

The Crags bill facilitates an equal value land exchange between the Broadmoor Hotel and the United States Forest Service (USFS). This exchange has been a priority for USFS for quite some time.  The completion of this land exchange will see enhanced recreational opportunities for the public on the Pike National Forest, which includes access to the Barr Trail, while easing the management burden on USFS by acquiring an inholding and no longer having to oversee a special use permit for the Emerald Valley Ranch. 

S. 37 – Bolts Ditch Access and Use Act:

In 1980, Congress designated the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, but the designating legislation failed to include Bolts Ditch as an existing water facility. The town of Miniturn can only fill Bolts Lake, outside of the Holy Cross Wilderness, by using the Bolts ditch and headgate. This legislation will allow Miniturn to acquire a special use permit to access the ditch and headgate in the wilderness area.  

S. 33 – To update the map of, and modify the maximum acreage available for inclusion in, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument:

The park is currently capped in its size at 6,000 acres. However, a local conservation group has taken 280 acres of private land adjacent to the existing park in to trust and the park has received support from the local community to incorporate the parcel in to the park. This legislation revises the monument designation to incorporate the additional 280 acre parcel.

S. 38 – Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act:

Originally created in 1988 over concern for four endangered fish, the Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Implementation Program has been extended multiple times over the last 30 years, most recently in 2013. The science-based, basin wide approach this program has taken have precluded any lawsuits being filed despite the diverse stakeholder group involved. This legislation will extend the authorization of the program through 2023. 

S. 35 – Amache Study Act:

During World War II, tens of thousands of Japanese Americans, including many American citizens, were removed from their homes and held in internment centers. One such internment center was located on the eastern plains of Colorado in town called Granada. Amache, as the internment center came to be known, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2005. This bill directs the National Park Service to study the Amache site for inclusion as a unit of the National Park System.




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 is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Subcommittee on Energy.