SPONSORED:

Trump administration submits list of conservation projects after the deadline

Trump administration submits list of conservation projects after the deadline
© Getty

 The Trump administration on Monday submitted a list of projects that will receive funding under a conservation program — a week after it was due to Congress. 

The projects will receive funding under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which helps the federal government acquire new land for parks and trails and works to protect sensitive forest and endangered species habitat.

A bipartisan law that passed Aug. 4 provided $900 million annually for the LWCF and up to $1.9 billion annually for five years for a separate fund that attempts to address a maintenance backlog at National Parks. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The law, called the Great American Outdoors Act, gave the Trump administration 90 days to prepare two lists of projects that would receive money under each of the funds. 

The Interior Department provided Congress with the parks maintenance backlog list on time, but submitted the LWCF list this week. 

The new list came as the White House also on Monday formally delegated the responsibility to submit the list to the Interior and Agriculture departments and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a letter accompanying the list that it was benign submitted “pursuant to the president’s delegation.”

Rep. Raúl Grijalva last week told The Hill in the statement that the LWCF list had been “missing,” saying that this was “somewhat perplexing and raises a lot of questions about this administration’s intent.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Garret GravesGarret Neal GravesNew Interior order undermines conservation bill Trump campaigned on, critics say OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden expected to issue swift reversals on climate | Senate proposes spending increase at environmental agencies | Court halts permits for contentious Mountain Valley Pipeline Trump administration submits list of conservation projects after the deadline MORE (R-La.), who opposed the Great American Outdoors Act, argued that this showed that the LWCF isn’t a real priority.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If this truly were urgent, if this were a priority, then you would’ve had this list years ago. If you had this...huge priority of acquisitions, you could’ve produced this list at the drop of a hat,” he said in an interview Monday before The Hill obtained the LWCF project list. 

“This is ridiculous that you’ve diverted money from one area for a purpose to land acquisition...that they don’t even have projects identified for,” he added. “You’re going to have greater federal spending picking up the pieces after than if we had directed the dollars toward proactive protection and just reaffirming the stupidity behind what was done here.”

The document submitted to Congress on Monday lists 20 Fish and Wildlife Service projects and 26 National Park Service projects that will receive LWCF funding. They’re located at places including part of the Everglades in Florida, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio and the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE’s support for funding the LWCF was something of a reversal after he previously proposed significant cuts to the fund.

The Great American Outdoors Act was largely viewed as a win for several lawmakers who were seeking reelection including Sens. Cory GardnerCory GardnerHillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities Democrats vent to Schumer over Senate majority failure MORE (Colo.) and Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesRick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (Mont.), who both represent states with vast amounts of public land.