Humans are a part of nature. We can’t be healthy if the world around us isn’t healthy enough to sustain, nourish and protect us. And without a healthy population, we can’t achieve our full potential for generating strong economies, driving innovation and securing a safe future.
Nature is at the heart of it all. Supporting nature and supporting ourselves is one and the same task, and it is a critical task.
Right now, Congress has a chance to make big gains in supporting nature by enacting a solution that already has broad bipartisan support: Fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
This program was created over 50 years ago to help protect everything from national parks to local ballfields to historic sites. Although it can receive up to $900 million each year, it typically gets half of that or less. It varies every year, making its ability to meet conservation needs unpredictable.
LWCF balances the use of one natural resource, offshore oil and gas production, by investing a portion of oil and gas revenues to protect other natural resources. At no cost to the American taxpayer, LWCF has helped protect national parks, preserve forests and wetlands, and expand outdoor recreation opportunities in every state.
Read more from Bill Frist M.D., a heart transplant surgeon, former Republican Senate majority leader, and vice chair of the global Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy, on The Hill here.