Give Congress a Call

November 19, 2014 – I would like to ask you to take just a few minutes – right now – to help protect and preserve the places you enjoy hiking. There is an awful lot happening on Capitol Hill currently, but if American Hiking Society were to ask you to do just ONE THING – this is it: contact your Congressperson about the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Right now Congress is trying to put some final touches on the fiscal year 2015 budget. Among the many items being discussed for increases/decreases in funding is the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Technically this shouldn’t even be an issue – LWCF dollars are derived from royalties paid by companies drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, not from tax dollars. Unfortunately LWCF is caught up in all the back-and-forth that goes on when working out a final budget.

How can you help make a difference? Contact your Senators and your Representative. Ask them to help protect funding for some of America’s favorite trails:

1. Urge your Senators to encourage Senators Barbara Mikulski, Jack Reed, Richard Shelby, and Lisa Murkowski to hold the funding level for LWCF in the fiscal year 2015 Appropriations to $350 million in their discussions with their counterparts in the House. Let your senators know too why this is important to you – what trails you enjoy hiking, how you enjoy family time spent outdoors, etc. They need to know that real people enjoy the lands the LWCF helps protect.

2. Urge your Representative to ask Reps. Harold Rogers, Ken Calvert, Nita Lowey, and Jim Moran to accept the $350 million funding proposed for the LWCF by the Senate. Again, let them know why this is important to you personally.

You can find out who your Senators and Representative are and how their contact info through AHS’s Contact Congress webpage. You can call them or you can email them – whichever you prefer. Please don’t be bashful – they’re your representatives and they genuinely do enjoy hearing from you.