Speak up for Conservation
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of the most important sources of funding for land and water conservation. Established in 1965, the fund uses fees from offshore oil and gas drilling—rather than taxpayer money—to protect and conserve land and water.
The LWCF has helped The Trust for Public Land and other organizations protect nearly five million acres, including critical lands at the Grand Canyon, Congaree, and Cuyahoga national parks. The fund has been used to safeguard large landscapes like California’s Big Sur, Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, the Appalachian Trail, and state and local parks near you.
LWCF-funded projects—41,000 and counting—can be found in almost every county in the nation and have been proven to strengthen local economies. Jobs depend on the fund, including many in the outdoor, travel, tourism, and service industries.
Though the LWCF is supplied with $900 million in oil and gas royalties each year, a loophole allows the government to move that money elsewhere. And it does. Historically, less than half of the money intended for the LWCF is actually spent on land and water conservation. There’s no paper trail, so it’s anyone’s guess where the rest goes.
Fortunately, there are members of Congress who want to repair this broken promise to Americans. The Land and Water Conservation Act, which guarantees $700 million of dedicated funding to the LWCF is the first step toward accountability.
We must make sure Congress passes the Land and Water Conservation Funding Act as part of the House Transportation Bill—or the LWCF could disappear, taking with it the promise of public land.
Speak up today and urge your representative to pass the Land and Water Conservation Funding Act.
Related article: Economy front and center in fight for conservation.