Dedicated, Full Funding Needed for the Land & Water Conservation Fund

In March, the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was permanently reauthorized as part of the passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. Though authorized, the LWCF needs dedicated, full funding to operate!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 27, 2019

Hailed as America’s best conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been vulnerable to a lack of funding and re-authorization from Congress. This past March, LWCF was permanently reauthorized, meaning this important conservation and recreation program will be around for the long haul. However, this does not actually guarantee it will receive funding every year. Since being established over 50 years ago, more than half of its intended funding - over $22 billion - has been diverted for other, non-conservation purposes.

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For over 50 years, LWCF funds have helped build and improve trails and trailheads, parks, river put-ins, and climbing areas, benefiting everything from city green spaces to national parks.

The program takes a small portion of the revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling (no tax-payer dollars) and puts it towards recreation and conservation. Its impact spans all 50 states, including many iconic and important places here in the Pacific Northwest

Lorna Corrigan, Board President of The Mountaineers,  Martinique Grigg, Governing Council Member of the Wilderness Society (and former Executive Director of The Mountaineers), and Arul Menezes, Trustee of The Nature Conservancy in Washington, came together to write in support of the program:

Now that the LWCF’s future is ensured, it’s time for Congress to fully fund it. The program doesn’t cost taxpayers a cent; rather the fund is filled by fees oil and gas companies pay to drill offshore in our national waters. No doubt this is a factor in its near-universal appeal. And LWCF has made it possible for hundreds of millions of Americans to enjoy our public lands, in turn supporting thousands of businesses that power our thriving, $887 billion outdoor recreation economy. Simply put, LWCF is vital for supporting outdoor recreation, conserving outdoor spaces and helping ensure equal access to the outdoors for all Americans.  

It’s good for families, for businesses, for urban and rural folks. It’s good for hunters as well as backpackers, rock climbers and entrepreneurs, and it’s good for anyone seeking solace, adventure or simply a safe place to play outside. Our members of Congress deserve your thanks for their support of this landmark public lands legislation.

Thousands of our community have taken action to protect the LWCF over the past four years. THANK YOU! Now it’s time to ensure funding for the future of this program: passing legislation to guarantee dedicated, full funding for LWCF.

We support the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act (H.R. 3195 and S. 1081), that would provide full, dedicated funding to LWCF. This bill would guarantee that the full, authorized $900 milllion for LWCF is not raided by the annual appropriations process. A number of Washington legislators have co-sponsored these bills: Thank you to Rep. Derek Kilmer (D – WA 6), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D - WA 7), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D - WA 1), and Rep. Rick Larsen (D - WA 2) for cosponsoring HR 3195, and to Senator Maria Cantwell (D – WA) for cosponsoring S. 1081 and her tireless support of this program.

You can help LWCF by writing to your legislators to let them know you’d like to see full, dedicated funding for this program. 

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Mel Courtney
Mel Courtney says:
Thu, Jun 27, 2019 8:47 AM

Nice photo! In what area is this photo taken?

The Mountaineers
The Mountaineers says:
Tue, Jul 2, 2019 11:35 AM

Hi Mel, thanks for asking. The photo was taken by one of our members, Tim Nair, on a hike up at Cascade Pass in North Cascades National Park!