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You are here: Home / Policy Action / Advocates Newsletter / Victory -- Senate Passes Dedicated LWCF & Gulf Coast Funding!

Victory -- Senate Passes Dedicated LWCF & Gulf Coast Funding!

Updated Advocates Alert: March 8, 2012

By a surprisingly strong vote of 76 to 22, the Senate approved an amendment (#1822) to the Senate Transportation Bill to provide two years of dedicated Land & Water Conservation Fund funding ($700 million/year) and re-authorize the program through 2022. This amendment also includes the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act, directing much of the Clean Water Act penalties associated with the 2010 Gulf spill back to the region for long term ecological restoration and economic development.

This isn’t a done deal yet. The House and Senate still need to approve their respective transportation bills and reconcile differing language, which could be difficult. The House also approved a RESTORE Act amendment, but did not include LWCF or clearly dedicate restoration spending. This is, however, a major step towards enacting this important legislation.

We thank Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for making today's victory possible.

And thank YOU for helping!

FYI -- The amendment related to tax extenders was offered the following week and defeated.


Two Urgent Actions for LWCF, Forest Legacy & Gulf Coast Restoration

Original Advocates Alert -- Sent Earlier in the Afternoon

The Senate may vote as soon as 2:00 pm eastern on an amendment to provide dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) while also protecting Gulf Coast restoration funding.  If LWCF funding (including stateside funding and Forest Legacy) is a priority for your organization, please drop what you're doing and call your Senators right now.

Senate: Support the Nelson-Shelby-Landrieu LWCF/RESTORE Amendment (#1822)


The Senate is voting TODAY on amendments to the Senate Transportation Bill.  Amendment #1822 will provide two years of dedicated Land & Water Conservation Fund funding ($700 million/year) and re-authorize the program through 2022. This amendment also includes the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act, directing much of the Clean Water Act penalties associated with the 2010 Gulf spill back to the region for long term ecological restoration and economic development.

This amendment will require 60 votes, so please call your senators right now:

  • Call each of your Senators via the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
  • Ask to speak with the staffer who handles natural resource issues and tell them what organization you represent
  • Urge them to vote yes on the Nelson-Shelby-Landrieu LWCF/RESTORE Amendment (#1822) to the Senate Transportation Bill
  • Be sure to mention any personal experience with LWCF and Forest Legacy projects
  • Tell them Amendment #1822 would protect LWCF funds for their designated purpose of conserving key conservation areas, working lands and recreation sites across America
  • Click here for more detailed talking points
  • Ask for the staffer's email address and send him or her this fact sheet and/or text of the amendment

Watch www.lta.org/lwcf for updates throughout the day.

House: Urge Your Rep to Sign the LWCF/Forest Legacy Letter

UPDATE: The House letter is now complete with a remarkable 152 signers. See the final House letter and spread the word about the Senate letter.

Last month, we shared the great news that President Obama is seeking $450 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in fiscal year 2013, including $60 million for the Forest Legacy Program. Now we need help asking your Representative to sign a letter supporting that request, an increase of about a third over last year.

  • Call your Representative via the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
  • Ask to speak with the staffer who handles natural resource issues and tell them what organization you represent
  • Urge them to sign the FY 2013 LWCF/Forest Legacy letter by contacting Nicole Rohr in the office of Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) or Helen Dwight in the office of Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH)
  • Be sure to check the list of 259 previous LWCF supporters and thank them for their past support when asking them to sign-on again (or see if your Rep has already signed-on)
  • Ask for the staffer's email address and send him or her  a copy of the letter
  • Find more general background and talking points on LWCF at www.lta.org/lwcf and www.lwcfcoalition.org

The deadline for the House letter is Wednesday, March 14. We expect a Senate version of this letter to be ready for signatures in the coming days.

Tax Extenders Amendment a Non-starter


UPDATE: This amendment was defeated.

There may also be an amendment to the Senate Transportation Bill that would extend the enhanced easement incentive (and all other "tax extenders") for one year (2012 only).  Regrettably, that is just a small part of the amendment, most of which approves a series of controversial energy projects including the Keystone XL Pipeline, Alaska oil leasing, oil shale leasing, and other onshore and offshore energy leasing. This amendment is seen as highly partisan and is unlikely to receive the required 60 votes.


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