Senator Mark Warner Visits, Celebrates Major Conservation Bill

Sen. Warner Senator Warner addressed the group and thanked supporters. Photo by Glenda Booth

Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner came to Belle Haven Park/Dyke Marsh on June 22, 2020 and championed the Senate’s June 19 approval of the Great American Outdoors Act.  The bill would fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million a year and allocate $9.5 billion to address the maintenance backlog on public lands, including national parks, refuges, U.S forests and other lands.   The National Park Service has a $12 billion maintenance backlog; Virginia parks, $1.1 billion; the George Washington Memorial Parkway, $717 million.

Senator Warner, a lead sponsor of the bill, said that the Senate passed the bill on a bipartisan 73-25 vote.  He called on the House of Representatives to send it to President Donald Trump before the nation’s birthday, July 4th. 

Senator Warner noted that 900 organizations endorsed the bill and it will provide 100,000 jobs in the country, 10,000 in Virginia.

He was joined by former National Park Service Director Robert Stanton who said that our “national parks are one system, an expression of a single, national heritage for all Americans.”

The Zebra newspaper was one of several media outlets that covered the event:  https://thezebra.org/2020/06/22/warner-speaks-in-belle-haven-to-mark-senate-passage-of-va-parks-bill/

The Mount Vernon Gazette published this article on June 25.

Wild turkeyWith a spotting scope, Senator Warner learned about an osprey nest on a piling in the Potomac River as well as others nearby. Photo courtesy Sen. Warner's office. Robert Stanton Mr. Stanton said that Virginia’s 24 national park units are a “microcosm of the national park system.” Photo by Glenda Booth Sen. WarnerRepresentatives of Nature Bridge conducted an environmental education exercise. Photo by Glenda Booth