4th District Congressional candidates McClintock, Morse weigh in on conservation fund

Hannah Jones

The Land and Water Conservation Fund, a bill designed to protect land, water, and recreation in the U.S., expired Sept. 30 without any action from Congress.

Since 1964, the bill has used a portion of revenue from offshore drilling to conservation projects across America without use of taxpayer funds. According to the bill’s website, parks across the nation have lost $43,837,000 in funding since its expiration.

Since its enactment, the fund has allowed for the construction of the Tahoe City Lakeside Trail, the Tahoe City Squaw Valley trail, the Truckee River Regional Park and the North Tahoe Regional Park.

In 2015, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) voted against reauthorizing the bill when it expired.

A recent poll of California’s 4th congressional district voters, released by the California League of Conservation Voters, showed that over two-thirds of those polled said they would like to see their representative renew the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Of the 706 voters surveyed, the poll showed that 84 percent total, including 79 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of independents, supported protection of public lands, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and opposed offshore drilling.

“I support reauthorization of the land and water conservation fund, as long as the funds are directed to addressing the multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog and for fire prevention on public land,” McClintock said in a statement Thursday.

His opponent for California’s 4th congressional district seat, Democrat Jessica Morse, also supports reauthorization.

“Nothing could be more devastating to the local small businesses that rely on tourism to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe to make ends meet,” Morse said in a news release. “I support reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund and will always fight for our public lands; there is too much at stake.”

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or

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