Photo Courtesy: Dreamstock

Nevada Latino Communities Call For Funding For Public Lands

Major Federal Funding Source Set To Expire This Month

September 04, 2018 - 12:33 pm

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) -A major source of federal funding for public lands is set to expire this month, and Latino organizations are among those calling on Congress to act. Since the 1960s, the land and Water Conservation Fund has used revenue from off-shore drilling to support public spaces, from national parks to community playgrounds, all at no cost to taxpayers. A new film, out this week from the Hispanic Access Foundation, highlights just how important these places are to the Latino community, said Rudy Zamora with a group called Chispa Nevada.

"Oftentimes, our communities are the ones that are out there enjoying the public lands, in Nevada specifically, we're out at Red Rock, we're at Mount Charleston. It provides a sense of belonging, it unifies our families," said Zamora.

Zamora also said everyone who appreciates public land in the U-S, not just Latinos, should be concerned about the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The fund will expire September 30th if Congress does not act to re-authorize it.

Over more than 50 years, the L-W-C-F has supported more than 40-thousand public-land projects nationwide. It's also brought more than 100-million dollars in funding to Nevada alone, according to the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition. The film "Land, Water y Comunidad" highlights Nevada's Spring Mountain Ranch State Park just outside of Las Vegas. Chela Garcia Irlando with the Hispanic Access Foundation said L-W-C-F funding has helped make the park what it is.

"The Spring Mountain Ranch State Park has provided a place for Latino community members and families to enjoy this mini-oasis in the middle of the desert," said Irlando.