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GOP senators, Trump see political advantage in permanent reauthorization, full funding for LWCF

WASHINGTON — Gathered with a few Senate colleagues and President Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House back in February, Senator Cory Gardner gazed up at a portrait of the room’s eponymous president in his Rough Rider regalia and saw an opening to change Mr. Trump’s mind.

Hoping to capitalize on the president’s yearning for flashy achievements, Mr. Gardner, a Colorado Republican, told Mr. Trump that passage of a public lands bill that his administration and many members of his party opposed would be the biggest conservation accomplishment since Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900s created an iconic system of parks, refuges and forests set aside for public use and enjoyment. To bolster his argument, Mr. Gardner showed the president a picture of a striking new land acquisition along the rim of the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park that was made possible through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a chronically shortchanged account that Mr. Gardner and others want to guarantee is filled each year.

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