June 22-26, 2001

 
 
ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS: ARTS, CULTURE AND RECREATION

CONSERVATION AND REINVESTMENT ACT

WHEREAS, in 1964, Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to assure that all Americans have access to high quality recreation resources, to enhance the health and vitality of the Nation, and to preserve valuable habitat; and

WHEREAS, investments from the fund support the creation of public parks, efficient management of forests, preservation of clean water and open spaces and guarantee outdoor recreational opportunities, and other social and environmental objectives for the nation; and

WHEREAS, since its creation, LWCF has been responsible for the acquisition of nearly seven million acres of parks, public forests, and open space including the development of more than 37,500 state and local resource conservation and recreation projects, including playgrounds, ball fields, national historical sites, scenic trails, and nature reserves; and

WHEREAS, the LWCF Act is authorized to invest $900 million annually in recreational resources, principally from public revenue received from off-shore energy extraction, and that the Congress must annually appropriate funds from the LWCF account; and

WHEREAS, from 1978 through 1995, the Urban Parks Recreation and Recovery Program (UPARR) awarded almost $228 million to over 400 local jurisdictions which benefited more than 1,500 park and recreational facilities, and

WHEREAS, the Congress envisioned federal-state-local partnerships to create a national network of public parks and other recreation resources accessible to all people; and

WHEREAS, the need to preserve open spaces and develop and maintain local parks and recreational facilities becomes more critical each year due to the demands placed on such facilities by ever increasing populations; and

WHEREAS, state and local governments equally match federal fiscal resources, then assume all costs of management and provision of recreation services, thus often containing the cost of potential federal actions to meet public demand; and

WHEREAS, last year the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conservation and Reinvestment Act which provides for fullfunding of the LWCF and UPARR programs, but the Senate failed to act; and

WHEREAS, President George W. Bush has called for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but his budget requests do not provide for funding of the UPARR Program,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the Conference of Mayors see, as an absolutely critical need, the full funding of LWCF and UPARR programs annually; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors encourages Congress to again pass the Conservation and Reinvestment Act with a provision that would have a guaranteed pass-through of at least 50% of the funds of the state and local assistance program of LWCF directly to cities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Congress revitalize the UPARR program at least $125 million annually and that it be a competitive matching grant program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors that a copy of this resolution be mailed to the President, Secretary of Interior, the bipartisan leadership of the Congress and the members of the Senate.

Projected Cost:
$450 million - LWCF
$125 million - UPARR