Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Full Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 2015?

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:

Needless to say, there is a lot of positive work being done towards fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund. You can join in by asking your elected official to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 2015 and thank Senator Murray for her work. 

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