CreationCare: Evangelicals support the bi-partisan Restore Our Parks Act

  • Published on October 21st, 2018

One of the nation’s premier conservation laws, the Land Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF, has been in peril for the past three years — but on October 1 its authorization lapsed, putting the program in political limbo.

zion national park - GOP wants to give away public lands

By Tori Goebel
Evangelical Environmental Network

But there has been good news out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which voted 16-7 to approve S. 569, a bill that permanently reauthorizes LWCF and provides a permanent mandatory funding authorization of $900 million annually that cannot be reduced through the appropriations process.

We would especially like to thank five Republicans who joined all the Democrats who voted the right way for God’s creation:

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)
  • Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

In addition, we’re also grateful for the leadership of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ranking Member of the committee and lead sponsor of the bill, and for the support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

If the bill passes the full Senate it will have to be reconciled with a House version and then be signed into law by President Trump. So while this is a significant milestone, more work remains to be done.

Another positive vote from the Committee was the passage with strong bi-partisan support of S. 3172, the Restore Our Parks Act, which provides up to $1.3 billion a year for five years to fund maintenance projects at our National Parks. This is desperately needed, as the maintenance backlog is now over $11 billion. For example, 40% of the nearly 10,000 miles of roads in the Parks need repair, as do many of the water systems – for example, at Rocky Mountain National Park the pipes are 50 to 70 years old.

Again, we are especially grateful for the eight Republicans who voted to be good stewards of God’s creation:

  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), lead sponsor
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Committee Chair
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)
  • Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
  • Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Again, we are thankful for the leadership of these Senators who voted in committee to care for God’s creation, and we encourage others to thank them — especially their constituents.

About the Author

EEN is a biblically based ministry dedicated to the care of God's creation. EEN is made up of both individual members who believe in and support our vital ministry and major evangelical organizations who work with EEN to help equip, educate, disciple, network, and mobilze the church for the care of God's creation. Creation-care means caring for all of God's creation by stopping and preventing activities that are harmful (e.g. air and water pollution, species extinction), and participating in activities that further Christ's reconciliation of all of creation to God. Doing creation-care fills us with the joy that only comes from doing the will of God.