A bipartisan group of conservation leaders in the U.S. Congress joined the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition to release a new report. A bipartisan group of conservation leaders on the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which was signed into law on September 3, 1964.
The report was released on July 23, 50 years to the day from when the U. S. House of Representatives, by a voice vote, approved the creation of LWCF, a federal program for conserving critical lands and creating recreational opportunities for all Americans. This landmark legislation established a dedicated and permanent means for funding the protection of America’s irreplaceable natural, historic, cultural and outdoor landmarks and helping local communities create and maintain close-to-home parks and trails.
Attending the press conference announcing the report’s release were U.S. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and U.S. Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA 8) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR 4).
LWCF does not use any taxpayer dollars–it is funded using a small portion of revenues from offshore oil and gas royalty payments.
“50 Years of Conserving America the Beautiful,” spotlights more than 100 treasured places across the country that have been protected by LWCF, and makes policy recommendations to sustain and strengthen the LWCF as it enters its sixth decade. These include budgeting LWCF at its full funding level of at least $900 million annually, reauthorizing the program permanently, and dedicating a small percentage of funds to making public lands truly public for sportsmen and recreationists.
The LWCF Coalition, which includes more than a thousand state and local landowners, small businesses, ranchers, sportsmen, veterans, outdoor recreationists and conservation organizations, has called on Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund LWCF. The Trust for Public Land Action Fund supports the coalition’s educational, grassroots, and legislative advocacy campaign.