Help save the Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Land and Water Conservation Fund's goal is to balance the loss of one natural resource—offshore oil and gas—by using a portion of drilling fees to protect important land and water elsewhere. However, funding for the LWCF has been low and unpredictable. The program is authorized to receive a small percentage of offshore oil and gas royalties—$900 million a year—but most of these funds have been diverted elsewhere. It is time to ensure that these royalties, which are credited each year to the LWCF account, remain in that account to be utilized for the intended purpose of protecting our natural and recreational heritage. See what LWCF has protected in your state.
The House of Representatives will take up the House Interior Appropriations Bill on Monday, July 25. The bill includes $65.8 million for LWCF, a huge 78% cut from last year's level of $301 million, and clearly, well below the authorized level of $900 million.
You can help by contacting your U.S. Congressman in the House of Representatives. Below is a sample message to fax or call:
I am writing to ask you to help protect America's special places by supporting federal spending for conservation and preventing further cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
While Congress should look at all programs to see where the budget can be reduced, it is important to remember that LWCF funds do not derive from taxpayers' dollars--they are revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters and are supposed to be used to protect our natural resources and not be diverted for other purposes.
We need to make sure that we protect America's water and lands, the places which make our country unique, like our National Parks and National Forests, Civil War battlefields, and other historic and cultural sites. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been instrumental in preserving these special places, and much more remains to be done. LWCF protects lands for recreational access, wildlife habitat, and water quality. It enables us to hand down to our children and grandchildren unspoiled natural lands and historic places that are critical to our national heritage.
Please protect the future of land and water conservation in our state by opposing further cuts to LWCF when you take up the FY 2012 House Interior Appropriations Bill on Monday, July 25. Please support the Bass amendment to increase funding for LWCF and vote no on amendments that would reduce funding for this important program beyond the 78% cut it has already taken.