May 10, 2018
The Honorable Ryan Zinke, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20240

Subject:  Land and Water Conservation Fund

Dear Secretary Zinke:

We are writing to you on behalf of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (Coalition). The Coalition is comprised of over 1,500 members who collectively have more than 35,000 years of experience managing and protecting national parks. We believe that our parks and public lands represent the very best of America, and advocate for their protection.

We, the undersigned, urge you to recommit to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). We applauded when you confidently stood up for this historic conservation program while representing the people of Montana, and we remain hopeful that you will once again take this stance on behalf of all Americans as Secretary of the Interior.

Many of our members who worked for the National Park Service experienced firsthand the value of this program. From preserving the Doody homestead in Glacier National Park, to saving the Shenandoah Battlefields not far from your hike during National Park Week, the LWCF has long been a very effective program for preserving our nation’s heritage.

But so much more national park land could have been protected. We have been frustrated that the LWCF has only been fully funded one time in its entire 52-year history. Without full funding, the National Park Service and its sister agencies lost the opportunity to further conservation goals on the ground. Priority projects, developed in collaboration with local landowners, states, and regions, had to be shelved.

Under your helm, the funding levels for LWCF are sadly on a negative trajectory. We are disappointed that President Trump and you failed to support the LWCF in the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019. Congress has the opportunity to right that wrong, and we believe they will listen to their constituents and restore funding for the program just as they did with the Consolidated Appropriations Act earlier this year.

Secretary Zinke, your upcoming Senate hearing provides you with the opportunity to assure the Committee that you believe in the LWCF and want to see it reauthorized before it expires on September 30. Reminding Congress of your past support for permanent reauthorization would undoubtedly have a positive impact on their deliberations.

The new mission statement for the Interior Department emphasizes protecting America’s great outdoors and supplying energy to power our future. By using a portion of royalties from offshore oil and gas development instead of taxpayer dollars, the LWCF is a perfect example of a program that contributes to the achievement of those two goals. In the coming weeks, as Congress debates the FY19 budget, please pledge your support for permanent reauthorization of the LWCF.


The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Executive Council:

Phillip A. Francis, Chair
Douglas K. Morris, Vice Chair
Michael B. Murray
Richard Ring
Maria Burks
Brenda Barrett
Don Hellmann
Rebecca Harriett
Bob Mackreth
Sheridan Steele
Mark Butler
David Graber

Members of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks

Constance A. Rudd
Alan D. Hollister
Allen Bohnert
Amy Gilbert
Andrew T. Ringgold
Anndevoy Ryan
Anne C. Cully
Anne Worthington
Anthony Sisto
Audrey Faye Calhoun
B. J. Griffin
B. William Henry
Barbara E. Maynes
Barbara Goodman
Barbara Griffin
Barry T. Sullivan
Bennie C Keel
Courtney Hotchkiss
Craig C. Axtell
Cyndy M. Holda
Dan Davis
Dan R. Moses
Daniel K. Horrner
Daniel M. O'Brien
Daniel Tayloir
Daniel W. Brown
Daniel W. Steed, jr.
David A. Clary
David B Ames
David Buccello
David C. Hartman
David D. Roberts
David Donohue
David H Wallace
David Haet
David J. Parsons
David James Grimes, Jr.
David L. Moffitt
David Morris
David N. Given
Deborah K. Piscitelli
Deborah O. Liggett
Debra Levie
Dee Renee Ericks
Delora M. Loope
Denis Michael Osowski
Denis P. Galvin
Dennis Burnett
Denny Huffman
Dominic Nessi
Don Castleberry
Don Neubacher
Don Owen
Donald A Falvey
Donald Bruce Fladmark
Donald E. Magee
Donald M. Fox
Donna M. Whaley
Donna Williams
Dr. Harold P. Danz
Edward Bruce Patrovsky
Edward D Carlin Sr
Edward Peter Walzer
Leslie Starr Hart
Linda Alick
Loretta Neumann
Lucinda Stafford
Lucy Lawliss
M. Jeff Ohlfs
Macdougall Palmer
Marcia Blaszak
Margaret Powell
Mark Butler
Mark D. Flora
Mark H Lewis
Mark Hardgrove
Mark Kelleher
Mark Ruggiero
Mary D. Partsch
Mary E. Elms
Mary G Martin
Matthew A. Ross
Maureen Finnerty
Meg Weesner
Michael C. Warren
Michael Elliott
Michael H. Bureman
Michael Holmes
Michael Sutton
Mike Tollefson
Monika Mayr
Nelson(Si) Siler
Nicholas J Eason
Norah D Martinez
Norm H Simons
Norman D. Hellmers
O.V. Olsen
Pamela Underhill
Patrick H. Reed
Patrick Vigil
Paul B Hartwig
Paul B. Cole III
Paul Henderson
Paul K. Stevens
Paul R. Anderson
Paulette Mullinax
Peggy Dolinich
Peter White
Philip Heckman
William Gibson
William H. DeBerry
William H. Ehorn
William J. Halainen
William J. Pierce
William L. Huie
William W. Dunmire
Bill Jackson
Bill Pierce
Bob Gerhard
Bob Meadows
Bonnie Winslow
Boyd L. Sponaugle, Jr.
Brian Forist
Brian R Adams
Bruce Alexander Dombrowski
Bruce B. Moorhead
Bruce Daniel Murphy
Bruce Douglas McKeeman
Carl S. Christensen
Carol A. Clark
Carol J. Spears
Carol Kruse
Edward Pontbriand
Edward S. Kalbach
Edwin Hession
Edwin L. Rothfuss
Elaine Hall
Elizabeth A. Janes
Elizabeth Appling Roberts
Elizabeth K. Murray
Elizabeth Snyder
Elizabeth Van Zandt
Emilee Martell
Eric Haugland
Erik R. Hauge
Erin K. Broadbent
Faye Walmsley
Florence Townsend
Frances Norton
Frank J Deckert
Fred J. Fagergren
Gail C Menard
Gary G. Brandow
Gary R Miles
Gary T Cummins
Gary William Johnson
Gene Casey
George Alderson
Gilbert E. Blinn
Gilbert Soper
Ginny Rousseau
Gordon V. Gay
Harry A. DeLashmutt
Helen S Hossley
Helen Sullinger
J. W. Wade
Jack E Stark
Jacqueline A. Gonzales
James C Roach
James C. Redford Jr.
James Evans
James M. Brady
James M. Vekasi
James M.Ridenour
James Pepper
Jane Headland
Jane Lyder
Jane M. Sundberg
Philip R. Brueck
Phillip A. Young
Phyllis M. Ellin
Ramona Burks
Ray Herrmann
Rebecca M. Post
Rev. William R. Morris
Richard A. Rasp
Richard B. Smith
Richard D Falb DSC
Richard E Wells
Richard Ernenwein
Richard G Littlefield
Richard M. Bryant
Rick Jones
Rick Lee Mossman
Ries S. Collier
Robbyn Jackson
Robert Arnberger
Robert Burns
Robert C. Cunningham
Robert D Dunnagan
Robert D. Morrow
Robert E Woody
Robert G Burns
Robert G. Hyde
Robert McIntosh
Robert W Blythe
Robert whaley
Robert White
Robert Z Melnick
Roberta Barrows
Roberta D'Amico
Rodney L. Danner
Roger A. Rudolph
Roger Jon Cleven
Ronald A. Wilson
Ronald G. Thoman
Ronald G. Warfield
Russ Ludwick
Sam Weddle
Sanford P. Rabinowitch
Sarah Bransom
Sarah Peskin
Scott Chapman
Scott Sticha
Carol T. Linnig
Carolyn L. Knoll
Cathleen J. Cook
Charles B Voll
Charles Barry Cooper
Charles Farabee
Charles t wilson
Charles W. Kirby, PhD
Cherry Payne
Cheryl A Houghtelin
Christine M Nelson
Christopher Seymour
Chuck Bloomingburg
Claude Stanley Fowler, Jr.
Colin "Toby" Hastie
Connie Rudd
Cordell J. Roy
Janet C Wolf
Janet L. Krakow
Janis Kozlowski
Jared Cohen
Jay P. Eickenhorst
Jean H Rodeck
Jeff Maugans
Jerry A. Eubanks
Jerry L. Rogers
Jerry Pendleton
Jerry Yarbrough
Joan Anzelmo
Joel Schwartz
John E. Hunter
John H Dryfhout
John Howard
John K. Apel
John P. Bloom
John P. Debo, Jr.
John Richard Erisman
Jonathan Paynter
Jonathan Warner Bayless
Joseph H. Finan
Joseph P Hudick
Joseph R. Collins
Joseph Sovcik
Judith Hart
Kate Roney Faulkner
Katherine C. Ziegenfus
Katherine Stevenson
Kathryn Thomas
Kathy Tonnessen, Ph.D,
Kenneth E. Apschnikat
Kenneth Kehrer, Jr.
Kent R. Cave
Kim E. Sikoryak
Kim W. Watson
Kristine Fister
Larry L Hakel
Larry Lee Hakel
Larry N. Kilborn
Larry W. Frederick
Larry Walling
Laura Rotegard
Lawrence A. Lang
Leonard Clark Emerson
Sherry Justus
Shirley M. Clark
Stephen E. Whitesell
Stephen R. Bruner
Stephen Underwood
Stephen W. Hastings
Steve Pittleman
Steven Harrison
Steven R Gazzano
Stuart L. Croll
Susan Contreras
Terrence D. Moore
Terriy W Savage
Terry Michael Di Mattio
Terry W. Savage
Thomas A. Smith
Thomas D. Thiessen
Thomas G. Vaughan
Thomas Griffiths
Thomas H. Wilson
Thomas M. Lorig
Thomas Smith
Timothy J. Oliverius
Timothy M Harvey
Timothy Manns
Tom Haraden
Tom Lorig
Tom Ribe
Tom Wolfe
Vaughn Baker
Vikki Keys
Vito Spinale
W. Philip Koepp
Walt Allen
Walter J Chavez
Warren E Bielenberg
Warren H. Hill
Warren Lee Brown
Wayne Thomas Jipsen
Wesley H. Greene
William A. Sanders
William C Walters
William Carroll
William D Rice, Jr
William David O'Donnell
William F. Loftus, PhD