WASHINGTON, DC (Oct. 4, 2018) – The nation’s most effective tool in protecting Americans’ critical water resources and preserving natural, recreational and cultural treasures has passed a critical step in receiving permanent, dedicated funding.
On Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee reached an historic bipartisan agreement to provide the funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
“This historic announcement signifies that the nation is one monumental step closer to maintaining its permanent, smart, effective land conservation funding stream,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of the Open Space Institute (OSI). “We urge Congress to completely and permanently authorize the LWCF so that our children and grandchildren will have access to fresh water, clean air and the landscapes and resources that define and unite our nation.”
Since the inception of the LWCF, Congress has undergone an annual LWCF appropriations process, to determine funding for federal projects and dollars that go to the state grant programs.
Within New York, the LWCF has been responsible for protecting or enhancing many of the state’s most cherished historic and outdoors offerings, including the Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park, Sterling Forest State Park, and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important conservation program, responsible for protecting parks, wildlife refuges and recreation areas at the federal, state and local levels. For over 50 years, it has provided critical funding for land and water conservation projects, recreational construction and activities and the continued historic preservation our nation’s iconic landmarks from coast-to-coast.
LWCF does not use any taxpayer dollars – it is funded using a small portion of revenues from offshore oil and gas royalty payments. Outdoor recreation, conservation and historic preservation activities contribute $887 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting 7.6 million jobs.
For more information on LWCF and the places in each state conserved using LWCF funds, visit www.lwcfcoalition.org.