The Trust for Public Land Praises Obama Budget for Conservation and Climate Funding

The Trust for Public Land today strongly supported Obama administration budget proposed for the next fiscal year, which includes continued investments in our nation’s land, water, recreation and working landscapes that support local economies. It proposed the full $900 million for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“The Trust for Public Land is thrilled that President Obama has once again proposed full funding of $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land. “For the past 50 years, LWCF has been the most effective way our country has to conserve lands and places that are important to Americans and their families, without using any taxpayer dollars. This budget, once again, recognizes that fact.”

LWCF provides money to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide parks and other outdoor recreation opportunities to all Americans, from the urban core to wilderness. It does not use taxpayer dollars – it is already paid for through a percentage of revenues from offshore oil and gas development; $900 million a year from revenues that typically average more than $6 billion annually. Because the program has rarely reached its authorized level of expenditure, there is a $19 billion credit of unspent LWCF funding in the U.S. Treasury.

“We hope Congress approves this budget proposal, which supports the $646 billion annual outdoor recreation economy,” Rogers said. “In addition, the LWCF program needs to be reauthorized this year and Congress should act on that, too, to ensure that LWCF can support our conservation and recreation needs well into the future.”

Rogers also praised the President’s budget for continuing the administration’s commitment to carbon mitigation and climate preparedness. Among other climate commitments, the budget includes funding for communities to plan for and address climate risks like sea level rise, increased funding for the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program–the nation’s primary source of data on forest carbon storage and potential–and significantly increased funding for restoration programs that will make our forests and watersheds more resilient to fire, floods, and drought.