Costello Reestablishes Bipartisan Land Conservation Caucus
Washington, D.C. – Recently, Congressman Ryan Costello (R-PA) joined with Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Congressman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) to reestablish the bipartisan Land Conservation Caucus (LCC).
As we all know, our nation’s public lands play a vital role in defining our heritage, civic identity, and local economies. Our conservation efforts nationwide encompass our local communities, inspire people of all ages, and teach the importance of maintaining our lands to future generations.
Often, federal programs provide competitive grants to support on-the-ground work by state and local governments, non-profits, and universities. These partnerships help preserve historic lands, create national recreational space for hunting, fishing and biking, and maintain our cultural heritage while improving the quality of life we enjoy.
In an effort to bring continued awareness to the conservation and safekeeping of our public lands, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress reestablished the LCC. The Caucus is designed to foster conversation about federal policies – both active and proposed – that would impact public access to open space and federal lands. One particular area of focus will be on the strong partnerships developed through federal, competitive grant programs with our valued local organizations.
“In Southeastern Pennsylvania, the conservation and security of public lands like the Susquehanna and Delaware River Basins, the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area, the Highlands, and the Valley Forge National Historic Park is a top priority of mine. Preserving these lands so that future generations can enjoy them is a priority,” said Congressman Costello. “As many of you experienced this summer, these historic lands provide great opportunities to participate in outdoor educational and recreational activities such as fishing, hunting, and biking, while improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods and communities. It is my hope that the Land Conservation Caucus will work in a bipartisan fashion to promote the safekeeping of our public lands.” Costello recently penned an op-ed on his efforts to preserve public lands in Southeastern Pennsylvania. You can read his op-ed here.
“Whether it’s for recreational activities or simply taking in the beauty of the landscape, our national parks, wilderness, wildlife refuges, trails and monuments provide for incredible experiences that improve our quality of life,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “My home state of Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful and remote mountains, lakes, desert, and coasts in the country. Many of these areas are protected – with over two million acres of wilderness, Crater Lake National Park, national historic trails and monuments – providing significant opportunity for our citizens to enjoy these treasures for years to come. These opportunities are deeply valued by the people of Oregon. We have a responsibility to continue to protect these areas, and additional natural treasures in Oregon and around the country, for our constituents and for future generations.”
“I have worked for years to protect our environmental heritage, and to conserve our irreplaceable public lands,” said Congressman Pitts. “Last year, these efforts assisted in the passage and enactment of my legislation to protect White Clay Creek. I am hopeful that this caucus will be just as productive this Congress.”
“Preserving our open spaces and public lands is one of the most important responsibilities we have to future generations,” said Congressman Thompson. “As we saw recently with the newly created Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in Northern California, protecting open spaces can provide a boost to our local economy, enhance recreational opportunities for tens of thousands of people, protect important sources of drinking water, and preserve wildlife. I look forward to working with my co-chairs on the Bipartisan Land Conservation Caucus to make sure our county’s many national treasures are protected for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.”
“Conserved land reflects our history, our character and our way of life as Americans,” said Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance. “I applaud the co-chairs of the bipartisan Land Conservation Caucus for reestablishing such an important forum to highlight and advance the conservation of our nation’s irreplaceable lands. Through the use of tools crafted by Congress and hard work, land trusts have conserved cumulatively 50 million acres of land. We look forward to working with the bipartisan caucus to improve the existing tools and craft new ones to ensure our nation's identity is forever preserved.”
On Tuesday, Congressman Costello highlighted the Land Conservation Caucus on the House Floor. You can view his remarks here.