The opportunity to comment on this issue expired September 30th, 2018. Check our take action page for more opportunities!
The Land and Water Conservation Fund supports our treasured public lands that protect ancient forests, salmon spawning streams, sources for safe and clean drinking water and amazing recreation opportunities. More than 50 years ago, Congress made a commitment to the American public that a small portion of revenues from offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) would go to natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation programs, as an offset for the depletion of the offshore oil and gas resources that belong to us all.
LWCF has invested $637 million in protecting the places that matter most to Washingtonians, like Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Columbia Gorge, local parks, working forests and wildlife refuges throughout the state. Now, it’s very existence is at threat if Congress does not reauthorize its funding by September 30th!
LWCF is our country’s most important conservation program, supporting local economies, providing infrastructure for public health, tourism and recreation, and increasing access to the outdoors in all states and territories. It is paid for with non-taxpayer dollars and is overwhelmingly popular and has maintained broad bipartisan support due to its more than half-century history of successful, locally-driven conservation.
In Washington state alone, the outdoor recreation economy contributes over $26 billion in consumer spending and supports more than 201,000 direct jobs. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a key component of our nation’s robust outdoor recreation economy, which generates over $887 billion in annual consumer spending and supports 7.6 million American jobs. The LWCF has supported more than 42,000 state and local projects in communities across the country.
“The LWCF is one of the country’s best conservation programs, preserving public lands and ensuring access to outdoor recreation in rural and urban areas. For the last half century, it has protected lands, historic sites, national parks, wilderness areas, and urban parks in every state… It is critical that this program be reauthorized before its expiration on September 30, 2018.” – Senator Maria Cantwell
Amid the unprecedented attacks on our national parks, forests and other federal lands by the Trump Administration, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell has taken a leadership role in opposing these proposals. As the Ranking Member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Cantwell has asked the hard questions and pushed back on proposals to eliminate protections for old-growth forests, shrink the size of our national monuments, triple national park entry fees, and allow new road building in inventoried roadless areas. She continues to fight for our wild places and programs that support them, like LWCF.