A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Jewell to Join Community Leaders, Senators to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Land and Water Conservation Fund
Office of the Secretary
Effective tool for local conservation and outdoor recreation projects set to expire without action from Congress; Stops in North Carolina, Indiana, New Mexico and Arizona will demonstrate positive economic impact of Land and Water Conservation Fund in communities over past 50 years
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will travel to four cities this week – in North Carolina, Indiana, New Mexico and Arizona – joining local elected officials and community partners to celebrate the positive economic impacts and successes of the Land and Water Conservation Fund as it approaches its 50th anniversary on September 3rd.
One of the most effective tools for conservation, outdoor recreation and economic growth in local communities, the program is set to expire next year without action from Congress. President Obama has proposed to fully and permanently fund the innovative program.
“President Johnson and a bipartisan Congress got it right when they established the Land and Water Conservation Fund, embracing the simple concept that when we take something from the earth – namely, oil and gas from public lands offshore – we should return something back to the earth by investing in our land, water and wildlife heritage,” said Sally Jewell. “Fifty years later, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has made huge economic contributions to local communities in every state, helping to establish local parks, protect clean water sources and create jobs through outdoor recreation. As we look to the next 50 years, we need to ensure that we continue this great legacy by fully and permanently funding this innovative program.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, established by Congress in 1964, does not use taxpayer dollars. The primary source of revenue is a small portion of receipts from federal oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Only once in the past 50 years has Congress appropriated funding at the full authorized level of $900 million.
Projects supported by the Fund benefit not only communities' quality of life but also strengthen local economies. For every $1 invested in federal land acquisition through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, there is a return of $4 to state and local communities.
The funds enable state and local governments to establish baseball fields and community green spaces; to provide public access for hunting and fishing on public lands; to protect rivers, lakes and other water resources; to expand the interpretation of historic and cultural sites; and to conserve natural landscapes for wildlife and outdoor recreation use and enjoyment.
In July, Jewell joined with bipartisan mayors and elected officials in Fort Worth, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and a Civil War battlefield near Richmond, Virginia to highlight urban parks, outdoor recreation and historic preservation made possible by the fund.
This Wednesday, Jewell will be in North Carolina where she will highlight the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund's contributions to preserving the rich landscapes and recreational heritage of the Southern Appalachians. She will then travel to Indiana, New Mexico and Arizona to emphasize the fund's role in establishing urban parks and refuges that connect city dwellers, especially young people, to the great outdoors.
Additional event details are available below.
EVENT #1 – Asheville, North Carolina
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Richard Burr, U.S. Senator of North Carolina Butch Blazer, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources & Environment, USDA Mike Murphy, Director, North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation Mike Leonard, Chairman, The Conservation Fund
Event to Highlight the Importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund's Contributions to Conserving Treasured Landscapes and Outdoor Recreation
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, at 1:30 pm EDT
Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
Parkway Milepost 384
195 Hemphill Knob Road
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE by August 5, 2014, at 6:00 pm EDT
EVENT #2 – Carmel, Indiana
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana
Event To Discuss the Land and Water Conservation Fund's Contributions to Urban Parks, Clean Water, Outdoor Recreation and Healthy Economies
Thursday, August 7, 2014, at 10:30 am EDT
Monon Community Center East
1235 Central Park Drive East
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE by August 6, 2014, at 6:00 pm EDT.
EVENT #3 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Tom Udall, U.S. Senator of New Mexico Martin Heinrich, U.S. Senator of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. Representative Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director
Local Stakeholders and Community Partners
Announcement for the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge
Friday, August 8, 2014, at 12:00 pm MDT
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge
7851 2nd Street SW
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE August 7, 2014, at 6:00 pm MDT.
EVENT #4 – Phoenix, Arizona
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona
Local Stakeholders and Community Partners
Event to Celebrate Land and Water Conservation Fund's Contributions to Urban Parks, Outdoor Recreation and Healthy Economies
Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 10:00 am MST
South Mountain Park Visitor Center
10919 South Central Avenue
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE August 8, 2014, at 6:00 pm MST.