During this week’s fall meeting of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts, Rep. Mike Simpson received the national Land Trust Alliance’s Public Leadership Conservation Award for his role in passing the Great American Outdoors Act.
The act is best known for providing full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which conserves natural areas of exceptional public value. It additionally funds local recreational facilities and provides $9.5 billion for maintenance at national parks, refuges and public lands.
In a press release, Lori Faeth, the Land Trust Alliance’s government relations director, said Simpson’s “consistent support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund played a key role in the permanent reauthorization of this critical program and ensuring it has full and dedicated funding.”
Simpson said he was “honored” to receive the award.
“We are so fortunate to have amazing public lands in Idaho, and caring for them has always been a top priority for me in Congress,” he said. “The combination of LWCF and funding for deferred maintenance, paid for by a dedicated funding source, ensures that these lands will be preserved not just for me and those living today, but the future generations who deserve to hike in the Sawtooths or float the South Fork of the Snake.”
For over 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has protected many of Idaho’s most treasured places, from the Sawtooth Valley to the Snake River, lower Salmon River and Lake Coeur d’Alene.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been a boon to all Idahoans who love the natural beauty of our state and prize our access to hunt, fish, hike, play and simply enjoy nature. Congressman Simpson’s conservation leadership will benefit Idahoans for many years to come,” said Will Whelan, executive director of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts.