TPL Lauds Senate Provision Ensuring Full LWCF Funding

The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, today applauded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senate leaders for proposing energy legislation that addresses the tragic Gulf of Mexico oil spill and also provides permanent and full funding for land and water conservation.

The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Accountability Act would annually fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at its authorized level of $900 million. At that level, the program could meet a variety of conservation and recreation needs at the local, state, and federal level.”When the LWCF was enacted in 1964, it was intended to help offset the potential damages from offshore oil and gas production, by protecting some of America’s most precious lands and by providing recreation for Americans in every state,” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land. “Now is the time to step forward and finally turn that vision into reality. We applaud Sen. Reid’s leadership in including dedicated funding in the Senate’s energy and oil spill legislation.”

LWCF was intended to receive $900 million per year from the annual revenues paid to the federal government for offshore oil and gas leases, a total that typically exceeds $5 billion a year. But Congress usually diverts much of the LWCF money for other purposes. Only once since 1964 was LWCF fully funded, and it dropped to a low of $138 million in 2007. “This shortfall has put America’s public lands at risk, with an ever-increasing list of unmet funding needs in our National Forests, Fish and Wildlife Refuges, National Parks, and state and local parks,” said Rogers.

The Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Accountability Act is expected to be taken up by the full Senate in the next several days.

The Trust for Public Land is a national non-profit land conservation organization, which conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since it was funded in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.8 million acres in 46 states. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations.