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Policy Pulse: Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanently Reauthorized

Outdoor America 2019 Issue 2
Sunset in the Everglades

In March, President Trump signed into law legislation that permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). For the first time since its inception, LWCF will no longer need Congress to renew the authority (effective legal power) of the nation’s most successful conservation program. LWCF is funded with a portion of the royalties from offshore energy extraction. These funds are used to conserve public land and provide access to outdoor recreation locally.

Permanent reauthorization of LWCF has been a top priority for the League. Now that this hurdle has been overcome, we must turn our attention to funding for this mainstay of American conservation.

The $900 million originally authorized by Congress to be used for LWCF each year is now less than 10 percent of the annual revenue deposited in the U.S. Treasury from oil and gas leasing receipts. Despite the abundant available funding (at no cost to tax payers), Congress has only provided the full $900 million in LWCF funding once in 50 years. Instead, Congress has diverted more than 50 percent of authorized LWCF funds for other purposes.

Full annual funding for LWCF is a League priority and we will continue to advocate for this important investment in public land conservation and outdoor recreation.

Tell your senator to support full funding for LWCF

Jared Mott, IWLA Conservation Director