Friday, October 22, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Trump Budget Pushes 98-Percent Cut to Decades-Old Public Lands Program


Monday, February 19, 2018   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 54-year-old conservation program that has helped provide outdoor recreation access across New Mexico and the nation would be all but eliminated in the 2019 budget President Donald Trump has sent to Congress.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund gets its money from offshore oil and gas leases, but the proposed budget would divert 98 percent of those funds. Land Tawney, president and CEO of the group Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, said for decades, the program has been successful in increasing access to parks and public lands by diverse groups of people.

"You know, there's nothing more American than our public lands, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund helps provides opportunities for all Americans to enjoy these public lands that belong to all of us,” Tawney said. “And the idea of cutting this program doesn't make any sense to us, and I don't think it's going to make any sense to the American people."

In New Mexico, LWCF funds have helped conserve such places as the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. The budget proposal would use LWCF funding to help address the maintenance backlog in national parks instead.

In addition to funding public lands access, Susan Torres with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation said LWCF grants are used as matching money to build community soccer fields and baseball diamonds.

"There are these parks that rely on LWCF funding to maintain their access and make them safe for kids throughout the city,” Torres said. “So I think that that's one of the things that I personally think is very important about LWCF is making sure that our parks are safe and equitable for everyone to be using them."

Outdoor recreation is the nation's third-largest economic driver, generating $887 billion each year. Torres said ending the program would leave many current parcels of land unprotected and outdoor restoration projects unfinished.

"So there could be a lot of restoration programs throughout New Mexico that don't go funded - wetlands rehabilitation, increased access to places in Rio Grande Del Norte where people can go fishing,” she said. “A lot of those places where we're working to get more access, those things could just kind of fall to the wayside and cut people out from where they should have access to."

The Land and Water Conservation Fund has never received full funding, as Congress often diverts the money for other purposes. In recent years, funding has hovered around one-third of the full, authorized level.

get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021