Critical measures for public lands and sportsmen’s access had broad support but didn’t make it across the finish line
Last night, the 115th Congress moved closer to adjourning after failing to advance a wide-ranging and noncontroversial public lands package that had been under careful development by lawmakers for years. Part of the proposed legislation was a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, key provisions from the Sportsmen’s Act, Pittman-Robertson Modernization, and numerous regionally specific bills.
“These critical measures for our public lands and sportsmen’s access were teed-up and ready to go with broad support, yet Congress still failed to get them across the finish line,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “While we truly appreciate the best efforts of some lawmakers who went to bat for this, we are disappointed to see common-sense solutions kicked down the road yet again.”
Chief among the opportunities missed was a reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expired on September 30 despite the efforts of an outspoken, diverse coalition of advocates. For more than 50 years, the LWCF has helped conserve habitat and create public access for hunting and fishing all across the nation.
“Permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund should have been an easy win for lawmakers of both parties,” says Fosburgh. “We still have 9.5 million acres of landlocked public lands in the West, and the task of conserving important fish and wildlife habitats is no less critical, but we no longer have at our disposal the best tool to address these issues.”
With the 115th Congress now at a close, sportsmen and women are turning their attention to the prospects of advancing the lands package in the next two years. When a new Congress convenes in January, much could be accomplished by making good on the unfinished business of the last session, with a simple reintroduction of these bills and expeditious votes.
Congressional champions of the public lands package include Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), and House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah, 1st) and Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz., 3rd). These decision-makers fought hard for consideration of the package this year and are now working to secure a commitment from House and Senate leadership to move to consider the package in early 2019.
There have been few chances in recent memory to achieve so much for fish, wildlife, and the future of hunting and fishing, and certainly none as ready-made as this. “If our Congressional leaders take seriously the priorities of sportsmen and women, this lands package should be high on their agenda when they begin work in 2019,” says Fosburgh. “Common-sense, noncontroversial solutions to some of the most pressing conservation challenges are simply waiting for our elected officials to act. We hope that the next Congress will honor the collaboration and effort that went into this deal by considering and voting on these bills when they convene in early January.”
Photo Credit: Wyatt Bensken
42 Responses to “The Government Shutdown Needs to End”
Thank you for expressing what almost all Americans want but politicians ignore.
This needs to end!
End it now! No wall!
End the shutdown NOW. Holding the citizenry & 800K Federal employees hostage for an ineffective border wall only to fulfill an IGNORANT campaign promise is stupid beyond words.
Build the wall, which cannot solve everything but clearly can solve a lot.
Democrat hatred of Trump & the 65 Million Real-Americans that voted him into the WH is the reason the Democrats WON’T compromise to #buildthewall for our Nations security & the safety of our citizens & if it takes keeping it shutdown & the Democrats owns it anyway then so be it keep it shut because the President has tried & asked to compromise but the Only word they uttered was NO so it’s on the Democrats as usual
Fund the wall, end the shutdown
No wall! Fund border security, end the shutdown.
The wall needs to be built and is not ineffective. Just ask the men and woman who patrol the border. If you want the shutdown to end tell the Dems to secure the border so billions in tax money doesn’t go to the cesspool that is illegal immigration.
If this wall was so incredibly important to the majority of our citizens, why wasn’t funding secured while the house and the senate were both controlled by one party? To compromise the status and well being of this nations’ incredible natural resources with a government shutdown is irresponsible and short-sighted.
My husband is a federal employee in natural resources, and makes 75% of our family income. We have three little girls, so we’re trying to balance what we can do without for now. Our family has sacrificed a lot for the US gov – missed birthdays and anniversaries, multiple moves, him being on call all summer – and apparently this is how we’re being repaid.
Really how much is the shutdown going to cost in things we can’t make more of other than money
Democrats need to stop all this nonsance and do as the president wishes thee are a lot of citizens suffering because of the stupid Democrats, what happen with ” for the people” and not for the money in the Democrats pockets sick of these asses in Congress in it for the money, Also stop with the Social Security crap. we have worked all our lives for this pittance. My hisband got a $200.00 increase and I got a $20. increase. return the 3 Trillion dollars that Obama stole and return it to the people. Also start investigating all the fraud inside SS. Especially all the illegals receiving this package it is for the people who worked their entire lives and not someone crossing borders illegibly
END HOLDING AMERICANS AND THEIR PAY CHECKS, LIVES AN LIVLEYHOODS HOSTAGE YO MORONS
if walls don’t work why are there walls around prisons, stadiums, Pelosi’s and Obama’s homes ? not for looks I’m sure
THE POTUS IS CORRECT TO CARRY OUT HIS SWORN OATH TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE AMERICA PEOPLE!!
BUILD THE WALL!! WE ARE BEING INVADED BY UNKNOWN PEOPLE!!
Give OUR POTUS OUR MONEY TO KEEP US SAFE!!!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
GOD BLESS TEDDY ROOSEVELT!!
The shutdown only pertains to the 25% of non-essential programs, so why is 25% of my taxes going towards non- essential programs? Perhaps I would donate more with 25% more in my paycheck!
I applaud the TRCP for bringing awareness to the dangerous state public resources and wildlife find themselves in.
Besides, it’s what WE THE PEOPLE voted for. Thank God Hillary is still nobody’s POTUS. #BuildTheWall
Walls are effective that’s a fact. Illegal immigrants cost billions that’s a fact. The ONLY reason the left opposes is because it’s Trump that’s the truth. Fund it and move forward.
We do not need a border wall along the entire southern border of the U.S. There are places where a wall would be a block to the movement of wildlife. Landowners in certain places are not interested in having their land taken from them for a wall (heard of government over reach?). Many of the legislators who represent the southern border of the U.S. are not in favor of a wall. Check history – walls of Jericho, Hadrians wall, the Great Wall of China, the Maginot Line, the Berlin Wall, etc. and see how well they worked. We need common sense action on “border security” – not a my way or the highway approach. It is time for people with cooler, more level heads to step up.
I believe he wants to steal the land (much of which is golf courses) at the border using Eminent Domain. I also think he would divert funds from real crises to his own pocket as he did with the 9-11 fund which was overseen by Rudy Giuiliani at the time. The House sent a bill to reopen the government and Mitch McConnell refuses to put it to a vote. This all started with a bi-partisan agreement that Trump rejected. He broke the record (i’m sure he wanted that), so time to reopen the government.
Anyone willing to give up their land, their homes, their jobs to support this stupid idea? Fix the fence where it needs it and implement technological answers. Allow wildlife to come and go as it needs.
I live in Arizona, there are no golf courses on the border. Where did you get this crazy idea? Fake News?
Yeah, that’s it. You’re hilarious.
The wall is a ridiculous idea. It would be ineffective and dangerous to wildlife. We need to end the government shutdown and come up with an intelligent alternative to this wall.
Dangerous to wildlife? That is hilarious.
Think about the trophy coues deer in northern Sonora that exchange alleles with those populations on the northern edge of the border (FYI, the northern edge is the part in the US). Alleles are variants of genes, including those genes responsible for physical attributes like large antlers, body size, etc. I highly recommend reading peer-reviewed literature on the effects of physical barriers on wildlife genetics.
What you are saying is this is more important to you than our sovereign nation? I see where your priorities stand. Thanks Dr J.
Border security yes, get people back to work. Compromise and pass funding for needed improvements to stopping illegal immigration and smuggling across the border. However, I do not want one cent of my tax money going toward Trump’s Great Wall of America (that Mexico was to pay for). Give him 5 billion today and he will manufacture another crisis to get the next 5 billion. Thus are tyrants.
There is a wall along the border with Mexico. The areas without a wall are very remote and not ideal for peasants to make the journey North. We need cooler heads to prevail and that begins when the mobster and his family vacate the White House. It’s pretty sad when only half the country votes and a smaller portion of that group elect the leader.
Those of you who support the wall have probably never lived within 30 miles of the southern border so your wall fantasy is just that. To hold 800,000 hostage for a political stunt is not what a President should be doing. Put them back to work NOW. Certain folks in this country need to determine whether they are Republican or Democrat or American. There is a difference. End the shutdown!
I live in Arizona. I hunt coues deer on the southern border. I have glassed up illegals with backpacks walking through the canyons. We have signs many miles north of the border saying it’s a dangerous area to be in. What!? This land is America therefore I should be able to explore and hunt this land safely. We need a wall. The experts protecting the border advocate for it. So, don’t tell me I know nothing about the border if I don’t live within 30 miles of it. #MAGA
Trump needs to stop acting like a child throwing a tantrum. Sorry, he’s not getting what he wants. He cant see the impact he will cause and is causing, because he can’t see pass his own selfishness. End the shutdown!!!
…while the Democrats are partying in Puerto Rico, our POTUS is working and not taking a salary. There is no tantrum being thrown. Wake up and stop supporting the swamp by watching Fake News.
He’s only projecting what WE THE PEOPLE voted for. It’s not a personal want he is advocating for. He’s advocating for what WE THE PEOPLE put him in office for. We are sick of the Democrats using illegal immigrants for their benefit of votes and for anyone else using them as cheap labor. Our country is $20T in debt, we cannot afford to continue down this welfare state and expect to remain a free country. There is nothing immoral about a sovereign nation having a border wall.
Wait – the debt you refer to will increase by $5.7 billion, up $1.5 trillion since 2016. I highly recommend a course in Macro Economics.
Macro Economics is easy here since 5.7B of 1.5T is about .38% on the increase only of the national debt, not the total national debt. Hardly a drop in the bucket when you consider it will help decrease the welfare state coming across the border illegally. Let me know when you need more help with your math, Dr. J. You want help with the math on the last administration’s increase in our national debt? About 100% increase on the TOTAL national debt. You’re welcome.
Now I see your point. Debt + debt = surplus. Thank you for the clarification.
The shutdown is affecting way more people than 800,000+ federal employees, and the situation is being ignored by politicians and the media. Many private, non-profit corporations depend on loans and grants from various federal agencies. Applications for these funds are not being processed, and payment of funds is not being made.
Out here in the west, where most of the federal land is, there is much work that needs to be done. Slash piles need to be burned during the winter, and almost a month of burning conditions has been lost. This puts fuels and fire hazard reduction projects, which are already behind schedule, even more behind schedule.
The House members and Senators need to develop spines and stand up to the Executive Branch! End the shutdown and over-ride a veto!
I live in Arizona. I hunt coues deer on the southern border. I have glassed up illegals with backpacks walking through the canyons. We have signs many miles north of the border saying it’s a dangerous area to be in. What!? This land is America therefore I should be able to explore and hunt this land safely. We need a wall. The experts protecting the border advocate for it. Therefore, don’t tell me I know nothing about the border if I don’t live within 30 miles of it. #MAGA
Trump needs to stay strong, keep the government shut down and get the wall built.
I don’t feel bad for anyone who decided to take a federal job… you should have known this could happen.
Aslo you’re not loosing any money it will all be back payed.
Finally everyone shouldn’t be pissed with the president and pissed with law makes for passing laws that put workers out of paychecks and not themselves. They make way to much money as it is anyways.