WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Brian Mast (FL-18) released the following statement after the passage of the bipartisan Natural Resources Management Act, which includes the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF):
“Each year, our economy is driven by the millions of people who visit Florida to enjoy the outdoors, and more than that, our entire way of life is tied to preserving public land and protecting our environment,” Rep. Mast said. “Passing this bill to permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund is a big step toward ensuring that our local water resources and public lands – including the Everglades – will be protected and preserved for generations to come.”
Florida’s outdoor experience is the very cornerstone of the economy and quality of life for 20 million residents, supporting a $58 billion industry and 485,000 direct jobs. Over the last 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has invested more than $1 billion across Florida to conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and enhance public hunting and fishing access. The program makes it possible to leverage local resources, address maintenance backlogs, build marinas, youth athletic fields or playgrounds, and protect multi-billion restoration investments in America’s Everglades without using a single taxpayer dollar. Rep. Mast has been a strong advocate for the program, including cosponsoring the Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization and Fairness Act to permanently reauthorize the program.