Re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund - the foundation for our access to outdoor recreation, conserving outdoor spaces, and helping insure equal access for all Americans - is threatened. Read more to learn what you can do.
Katherine Hollis Katherine Hollis
May 15, 2015

One of the most important things we do as Mountaineers is inspire people to love the outdoors. Since you can only love what you know, we work to get people of all ages outside into nature. Our public lands provide outstanding places to recreate and experience the great outdoors up close.

But public lands in America are at risk in several ways. Some members of Congress have been working to roll back public lands protections or even sell off public lands to balance the budget. We believe that this is shortsighted. Our public lands contribute enormously to our economy. In Washington, outdoor recreation generates $22.5 billion in consumer spending, and $1.6 billion in tax revenue

If Congress wants to support a vibrant economy and tax base, members should be working not to sell off our public lands, but to promote policies that protect and enhance them for current and future generations. A cornerstone policy that would go furthest toward this effort is the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was championed by Washington’s own Senator Scoop Jackson in 1964 to reinvest a small portion of royalties from offshore oil and gas production into onshore land and water conservation projects. It was visionary and has played a role in protecting thousands of outdoor spaces large and small throughout the country, from playing fields (like those at Magnuson Park in Seattle) to National Parks.

The Fund has contributed more than half a billion dollars to Washington State. It has helped protect the Mount Si Conservation Area, Olympic National Park, Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, the Pacific Crest Trail, and hundreds more. Washington’s vibrant outdoor recreation scene would not be what it is today without the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Simply put, LWCF is vital for our access to outdoor recreation, conserving outdoor spaces that are important to us, and helping insure equal access to parklands for all Americans.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is threatened: it expires this September – just four short months away. 

What can you do?

Let your elected representatives know how important the LWCF is!  This link provides an easy, automated way to send emails to your representatives based on your zip code.

Thank Senator Cantwell for her work to defend LWCF, and let her know why you think it’s important. Local stories have big impact to legislators’ work in D.C.

More Information

Our letter, and our coalition letters, in support of LWCF.

The National Park Service's site on the Fund.