The Trust for Public Land Praises Obama Budget for Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Trust for Public Land today strongly supported President Obama's proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which includes continued investments in our nation's parks and public lands, water, recreation and working landscapes that support local economies. The budget proposes the maximum $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 more than50 years, LWCF has been the most effective way our country has to create parks and 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 cities 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 moneyin the U.S. Treasury.
"This proposal builds on the investments Congress made in LWCF last year when it renewed the program for three years and increased the annual funding to $450 million," Rogers said. "We hope Congress approves this budget proposal, which supports the $646 billion annual outdoor recreation economy. Congress should act this year to permanently reauthorize the program to ensure that LWCF can support our conservation and recreation needs well into the future."