Land & Water Conservation Fund Expired - What's Next?

The LWCF expired at the end of September but our efforts to support this fund were not wasted and the fight is not over!
Luke Hogfoss Luke Hogfoss
October 09, 2015
Land & Water Conservation Fund Expired - What's Next?

As many of our Mountaineers members know, the Land & Water Conservation Fund expired at midnight on September 30th. We were disappointed to hear that not only did the fund expire, but Congress members were not even given the opportunity to vote on the bill - which traditionally has bipartisan support. Although this is not great news for our outdoor community, our efforts were not wasted and the fight is not over. Environmentalists, senators, recreationists, and Mountaineers stepped forward in a big way to protect one of the most important conservation programs.

Is it Over?

No! Thanks to all those who actively supported the reauthorization of the LWCF (including 375 Mountaineers members who wrote their legislators!), it is currently on Congress’ radar. There is still a lot of support to include the LWCF in other legislation.

I will be pushing to get it included in any legislation that comes before the Senate. (Montana Sen. Jon Tester)

Support in Congress

Both of Washington State’s Senators have been huge proponents of the LWCF and we trust they will continue to support the outdoor recreation community.

In fact on Wednesday, October 7,  Sen. Cantwell went to the Senate floor, along with Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and urged immediate action on reauthorization of the program. Senate democrats also sent a letter directly to Senate Leader McConnell urging him to schedule a bill that would permanently re-authorize the program. 

You can watch Cantwell delivering her floor speech on the LWCF here.

As we've said before, the LWCF truly has bi-partisan supportHere is Republican Senator Burr pushing Senate for reauthorization of the LWCF on the eve of its expiration.


The LWCF is a 50-year-old program that uses a small portion of royalties from offshore oil and gas leasing to fund outdoor recreation and conservation priorities. The LWCF has invested $659 million in Washington State alone and has been used in every county in the U.S.

In its beginning 50 years ago, Washington State Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson championed the LWCF. With the recent expiration of the LWCF, Senator Jackson’s son, Peter Jackson, speaks about the establishment of the LWCF and a time when our representatives could be creative in their work. 


We asked you all to sign petitions and send letters in support of the LWCF. THANK YOU for your interest and support in this significant conservation program. We will continue to keep you updated on the LWCF going forward. 







We are proud to be partnering with the Outdoor Alliance on this issue.

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