The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the nation’s premier conservation and outdoor recreational access funding program, established by Congress 50 years ago.
|photo: American Whitewater|
Since then, more than $530 million of LWCF has been used to protect Washington's most iconic outdoor places like Mount Rainier, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Columbia Gorge, and wildlife refuges across the state. At all levels of land management – federal, state and local – LWCF investments are essential to outdoor recreation, economic growth, and protecting natural areas important to us.
LWCF is unique from other public lands funding in that it doesn't use any taxpayer dollars – it is completely funded by a small part of royalties that come from offshore oil and gas drilling.
Every year, $900 million of the billions of dollars that US Treasury gets from offshore drilling is set aside for Fund. However, many of these funds, over $ 18 billion, have been diverted elsewhere.
The Mountaineers considers LWCF a vital resource for outdoor recreation and conservation, and we advocate for full funding through our partner, Washington Wildlife and RecreationCoalition. (You can learn more about the LWCF on their website.)
Currently there is significant support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the federal level:
- Washington Senator Patty Murray recently co-sponsored a bill to reauthorize and fully fund the LWCF at $900 million.
- For the first time, the President’s budget includes full funding for LWCF.
- This past December, WA Congressman Reichert joined a number of otherHouse Republicans in support of funding the LWCF.