Alexander, Sununu Applaud Funding For Land And Water Conservation

Budget Includes $350 Million Each Year For 3 Years

Posted on March 11, 2005

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and John Sununu (R-NH) today applauded the inclusion of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Forest Legacy Program, and the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program in the 2006 Budget Resolution from revenues generated in the event the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is opened up for energy development. For the first time ever, the budget resolution designates $350 million each year for three years to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Forest Legacy Program and the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program from revenues generated from drilling in ANWR. “I believe we should use revenue from oil and gas drilling, and other activities that deplete our natural resources, to fund conservation efforts,” said Alexander. “And I believe smart development always includes strong environmental stewardship. This money would be used by states, cities and communities to create neighborhood parks, greenways, and land trusts. This would help build state parks and greenways and land trusts, closer to where people live, near their homes.” “In New Hampshire and across the nation these conservation programs have helped preserve and protect millions of acres of land,” said Sununu. “Using the resources of ANWR – should it be opened for development – to support these vital preservation programs strikes a fair and responsible balance between addressing our country’s growing energy needs and protecting the environment.” Alexander, Sununu and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) sent a letter to the Director of Office Management and Budget Josh Bolten on March 1 supporting the inclusion of ANWR revenues for the stateside program of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In 2003, Alexander and Sununu proposed creating such a reserve fund from ANWR receipts. The Senate Budget Committee approved the measure, but the Senate failed to approve ANWR.