Proposal to Increase LWCF Funding Praised

September 27, 2012
Washington D.C.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition praised
Senators  Jack Reed (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for their release of a bipartisan draft Interior
spending bill that provides a much-needed increase in LWCF funding over current funding levels.  The
draft bill, announced by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and
Related Agencies, would fund LWCF at $378 million in FY 2013. Sen. Reed chairs the subcommittee;
Sen. Murkowski is its ranking member.
 
“Senators Reed and Murkowski demonstrated uncommon leadership as champions for a bill
recognizing the connection between robust LWCF funding and the economic health of communities in
all 50 states,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of the Outdoor Industry Association. 
“Outdoor recreation activities—the very activities supported by the parks and other public lands that
LWCF protects—contribute 6.1 million direct American jobs, $80 billion in federal, state and local tax
revenues, and $646 billion in direct consumer spending annually.”
 
To support that vibrant outdoor economy, and to meet urgent conservation needs across the country,
LWCF spending under the draft Senate bill would increase by just over $50 million, or about 17%
above FY 2012 levels.  In contrast, the House Interior Appropriations Committee recently  proposed
an Interior funding bill that included a drastic 80 percent cut to the Land and Water Conservation
Fund. “That proposal was completely out of step with the broad, bipartisan support LWCF enjoys in
both houses of Congress, and among the American public,” said Will Rogers, President and CEO of
The Trust for Public Land.  We are grateful to Chairman Reed and Ranking Member Murkowski for
recognizing the critical need to restore the more robust funding LWCF clearly deserves.”
 
“The draft bill introduced today is a great starting point for negotiations on LWCF funding for FY
2013,” said Jamie Williams, President of The Wilderness Society. “In the long term, we hope that
Congress will recognize the need for permanent, dedicated funding for LWCF that was intended when
the Land and Water Conservation Fund was created in 1964.”
 
Using no taxpayer dollars, LWCF is funded by royalties paid for oil and gas leases in offshore waters
that belong to all Americans. LWCF uses a fraction of these oil and gas revenues to protect other
important resources for the benefit of the American public—from national parks, forests, trails,
historic sites and wildlife refuges to state and local parks, community ball fields, and working forests
and ranches. 

The LWCF Coalition comprises conservation, recreation, business, and sportsmen’s groups working
together to support the LWCF program in order to meet America’s conservation and recreation
needs in the 21st century. For more information on LWCF and the places in each state that have been
protected using LWCF funds, visit www.lwcfcoalition.org.