By Dalton Carver
A federal government funding bill for fiscal year 2016 has reignited the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Payment In Lieu of Taxes program, but only to an ember.
The $1.1 trillion omnibus bill, which is also known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, tacked on a three-year extension to the LWCF.
The bill passed the House by a count of 316-113.
The Center for Western Priorities, a nonpartisan conservation and advocacy group, has stated their disappointment with the recent authorization.
“The short-term renewal of America’s most successful parks program is a sign of the ineffectiveness of this Congress and deep dysfunction in Washington,” said Jennifer Rokala, CWP executive director in a recent statement that can be found on the CWP website.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), who co-sponsored a bill to extend PILT and permanently authorize the LWCF last August, voted on last Thursday’s bill.
“We’re glad it received a three-year extension, but we will continue to fight for its permanent reauthorization and full funding in the years to come,” said Bennet in a press release.
The LWCF is a bipartisan commitment to protect natural parks across the country that is funded through offshore oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.