• News

Policy Pulse: Senate Bill Would Permanently Fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Jared Mott, IWLA Conservation Director
Outdoor America 2019 Issue 3
People enjoying a park

In April, Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Joe Manchin of West Virginia introduced The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act (S. 1081), which would provide $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

LWCF is a bipartisan program passed by Congress in 1964 – with heavy support from and involvement by the League – to improve outdoor recreation, increase access to public lands, and conserve important lands and waters. LWCF costs taxpayers nothing because it utilizes some of the royalties paid to the federal government by offshore energy developers to fund outdoor recreation projects across the country. With almost $4 billion invested to date in federal, state, and local projects in every county of every state, LWCF has proven to be the most successful conservation program in U.S. history.

Unfortunately, Congress has traditionally doled out piecemeal funding for this vital program. Funding is uneven from year to year, and every year, dollars that should flow to conservation from offshore royalty payments are instead awarded to other government programs.

S. 1081 would address this problem by ensuring the money from offshore royalties dedicated to LWCF will be allocated every year. This legislation effectively says that outdoor recreation, access to public lands, and habitat conservation are top priorities and that $900 million per year should be allocated to LWCF.

The League vigorously supports S. 1081 and urges all of our members to contact their Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the bill or thank them if they have already done so. Read more about this legislation and contact your Senators.