Bi-Partisan Leaders Gather to Urge Action for LWCF

By Colleen Hartel

Scenic The 9,000-acre conservation and recreation area in the Sandy River Basin, managed by the BLM, were acquired through LWCF and partnerships with other conservation groups.
Image Credit: BLM Oregon

Last week marked 100 days before the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) authorization expires at the end of September.

Senators Bennet (D-CO), Ayotte (R-NH), and Heinrich (D-MN), cosponsors of S.338, a bill to permanently reauthorize LWCF, gathered along with other bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate to urge action on this important program as the expiration date nears.

Since its inception in the 1960s, LWCF has made important contributions to conservation in every state. LWCF is the primary source of funding for land acquisition for conservation and public access areas by federal, state, and local governments.

Funding for LWCF comes from a portion of offshore oil and gas royalty payments. LWCF is authorized to receive up to $900 million from royalties annually. However over $18 billion, nearly 40% of the potential funds, has been diverted away from conservation purposes since the program’s beginning.

Proposed Congressional action through bills that would permanently authorize the program and dedicate funding at the full $900 million level annually would ensure future natural resource conservation for public use.

TWS members have acted in support of LWCF. Through our Action Alert, TWS sent nearly 400 messages to members of Congress encouraging them to support both permanent reauthorization and full funding for LWCF.

TWS is a supporter of the LWCF Coalition and has released a Policy Brief detailing the importance and applications of LWCF to wildlife professionals.

Source: LWCF Coalition Fact Sheet

Colleen Hartel is a policy intern at The Wildlife Society as part of the Government Affairs & Partnership program.

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