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Land and Water Conservation Fund: “Important Resource” for Maine

Supporters vow to continue the fight for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Credit: Erin McDaniel via Wikimedia Commons
Supporters vow to continue the fight for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Credit: Erin McDaniel via Wikimedia Commons
October 5, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine – Last week, for the first time in 50 years, Congress did not reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Local supporters say the fund is down, but not out.

Stephanie Clement, conservation director of the environmental group Friends of Acadia, calls the fund an important resource to every county in Maine and every citizen who comes out and enjoys the great outdoors.

"Not only has it funded important federal land acquisitions at Acadia National Park, at the various wildlife refuges here in the state, but it also has funded a variety of state and local parks as well," she points out.

Clement explains the fund works on the theory that as oil, a public resource, is extracted in the marine environment, a portion of the royalties would help another public resource – public lands.

Opponents say the fund is used too often to pay for land acquisition rather than land management.

Clement says Friends of Acadia will still fight for Congress to take a vote on reauthorization of the fund, which she says enjoys bipartisan support both nationwide, and clearly in Maine.

"We owe thanks to all four members of the Maine delegation who have been fighting in Congress to try to get the Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorized,” she says, “so that funds can continue to roll into the state and into our federal land assets here in Maine to ensure that they can continue to acquire lands from willing sellers, as they come."

The fund was fist signed into law in 1965 and reauthorized for another 25 years in 1990.

Supporters say they will keep rallying support for the measure during the coming months.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME