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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut

LARSON HELPS PASS LANDMARK, BIPARTISAN ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATIONWould Bring Approximately $24 millio

May 11, 2000
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2000

LARSON HELPS PASS LANDMARK, BIPARTISAN ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION
Would Bring Approximately $24 million to Connecticut

WASHINGTON - A bill that would provide millions to numerous Connecticut environmental conservation, wildlife, and recreation programs, including federal and state Land and Water Conservation Fund programs, urban recreation areas, and numerous historic preservation programs, was passed today by the House of Representatives and supported by U.S. Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01).

The bill, which was co-sponsored by Larson and known as the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) H.R. 701, would bring $23,694,529 annually to Connecticut.

One of the most important provisions of the bill for Connecticut would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the first time. Last year, Larson supported an amendment to increase state funding in the LWCF by $30 million. The Conservation and Reinvestment Act would fully fund the LWCF at its authorized level of $900 million. Connecticut's share would be over $7 million per year.

Larson, who is a member of the Democratic Caucus' Livable Communities Task Force, stated, "Protecting our environment and our historic landmarks is one of the greatest legacies that we can leave the next generation. The Conservation and Reinvestment Act will go a long way toward ensuring that protection. The First Congressional District's many environmental gems, such as the Connecticut River and its tributaries, urban recreation areas, and the region's rich historic landmarks, will indeed benefit from this bill."

The bill establishes a permanent, automatic funding mechanism for land acquisition for conservation purposes, joining the revenues from offshore oil drilling royalties to numerous federal and state land and resources conservation programs. The bill sets aside $2.8 billion a year from Outer Continental Shelf oil royalties in the permanent Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) Fund, which is created through H.R. 701, for the purchase and protection of environmentally sensitive land, as well as for other conservation and recreation programs.

The breakdown of funding for Connecticut in the CARA bill is as follows:

  • $6,097,853 for the conservation of coastal ecosystems;
  • $7,299,132 to guarantee stable and annual funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund state and federal programs;
  • $3,210,781 for wildlife conservation;
  • $4,210,451 for matching grants to local governments to rehabilitate recreation areas;
  • $1,911,955 to fund programs in the Historic Preservation Act, including grants to states, maintenance of the National Register of Historic Places, and the administration of numerous historic preservation programs;
  • $7,622 to fund a coordinated program on federal and Indian lands to restore degraded lands, protect resources that are threatened with degradation, and protect public health and safety.
  • $254,194 to fund conservation easements and landowner incentives to aid in the recovery of endangered and threatened species.

President Clinton has indicated that he will support the bill. Joining him in support of CARA is the Audubon Society, National Recreation and Parks Association, International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, National Wildlife Federation, National Parks and Conservation Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Association of Counties.

The Conservation and Reinvestment Act now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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Overall figures for the Conservation and Reinvestment Act are attached. A breakdown of the funding each state will receive can be accessed at https://www.house.gov/resources/cara/

"The Conservation & Reinvestment Act"

Funding for the important programs under CARA would be derived from a portion of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues. CARA would provide annual dedicated funding for the following:

Program                                                                    Annual Funding Level

Impact Assistance & Coastal Conservation                 $1 billion

Title I creates a revenue sharing and coastal conservation fund for coastal states and eligible local governments to mitigate the various impacts of OCS activities and provide funds for the conservation of our coastal ecosystems. These funds will support sustainable development of nonrenewable resources without providing incentives for new oil and gas development.

Land & Water Conservation Fund                              $900 million
(LWCF) Revitalization

Title II guarantees stable and annual funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at its authorized $900 million level. This dedicated funding would provide for both the state and federal programs included in the LWCF, while protecting the rights of private property owners.

Wildlife Conservation & Restoration Fund                   $350 million

Title III, through the successful program of Pittman-Robertson, reinvests the development of nonrenewable resources into a renewable resource of wildlife conservation and education. This new source of funding will nearly double the federal funds available for wildlife conservation.

Urban Park & Recreation Recovery (UPARR)            $125 million

Title IV provides matching grants to local governments to rehabilitate recreation areas and facilities, provides for the development of improved recreation programs, sites and facilities.

Historic Preservation Fund                                           $100 million

Title V provides funding for the programs of the Historic Preservation Act, including grants to the States, maintaining the National Register of Historic Places, and administering numerous historic preservation programs.

Federal & Indian Lands Restoration                             $200 million

Title VI provides funding for a coordinated program on Federal and Indian lands to restore degraded lands, protect resources that are threatened with degradation, and protect public health and safety.

Conservation Easements & Species Recovery              $150 million

Title VII provides annual and dedicated funding for conservation easements and funding for landowner incentives to aid in the recovery of endangered and threatened species.

Payment In-Lieu of Taxes & Refuge Revenue Sharing   $200 million

Up to $200 million of the annual interest generated from the CARA Fund will match, dollar for dollar, the amount appropriated during the Congressional Appropriations process. 

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