Speak Up for Nature Near You

Congress Considering Deep Cuts to Conservation Spending Bills

In 1965, Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) out of money paid to the U.S. government by companies who want to drill for oil and gas on federal land. These are not taxpayer dollars. The plan was to use the money to protect land for everyone to enjoy and for almost 50 years, that has been what the money was used for. It is supposed to receive $900 million a year.   

The LWCF touches us all. It has helped protect Yellowstone National Park; beaches on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts; forests along the entire range of the Rockies; and historic places like Gettysburg National Military Park and the Martin Luther King Jr. historic site in Atlanta. It has also been used to protect and enhance our local and state parks and to ensure continuation of working forests and ranches.

Now, Congress is considering cutting the program to the lowest level since it was created—reductions that would mean America’s special places might not be protected in the future (see graph).


These funding cuts will have an immediate impact on sportsmen’s and active outdoor recreation access to public lands, working ranches and forests, local parks and trails, wildlife habitat protection, Civil War battlefield protection, and myriad other special places that benefit local communities.

And protecting our land and water isn’t about just saving land for the future, it is also good for the economy. A study by TPL shows that every dollar invested in the LWCF returns $4 to the local economy (learn more).

You can help us protect these lands by writing to Congress. Here’s how.