LWCF Funded Units in Kentucky

Federal Program  
Beaver Creek Wilderness  
Clarks River NWR  
Cumberland Gap
Daniel Boone NF  
*Big South Fork
Approximate Federal Total
State Program  
Approximate Total Stateside Grants
Forest Legacy Program  
Approximate Total FLP $13,000,000
Habitat Conservation Grants (Sec. 6)  
Approximate Total Sec. 6 $2,500,000
Approximate Total Federal and State $122,000,000
*Multi-state project  

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LWCF Success in Kentucky

The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect some of Kentucky’s most treasured places.  Kentucky has received approximately $122 million over the past five decades, protecting places such as the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Fern Lake provides the drinking water to the residents of Middlesboro, Kentucky.  Congress authorized the National Park Service to acquire lands surrounding the lake to preserve the mountainous watershed, ensure clean drinking water, and protect the scenic views and history of Cumberland Gap NHP.  Fern Lake is easily seen from Pinnacle Overlook, one of the most popular points in the park.  Cumberland Gap was a gateway to the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys for thousands of pioneers and settlers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  LWCF funds have successfully protected hundreds of acres at Fern Lake, greatly benefi ting residents and visitors alike.

Economic Benefits

Active outdoor recreation is an important part of the Kentucky economy. Each year, 820,000 sportspersons and 1.5 million wildlife watchers combine to spend $1.9 billion on wildlife-associated recreation in Kentucky.  This is an integral part of the American outdoor recreation economy, which contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supports 6.4 million American jobs (1 out of every 20 jobs in the U.S.), and stimulates 8 percent of all consumer spending, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

LWCF Stateside Program in Kentucky

The LWCF state assistance program provides matching grants to help states and local communities protect parks and recreation resources. LWCF funding has benefited nearly every county in America, supporting over 41,000 projects. From building hiking and biking trails, to improving community parks, playgrounds and ballfields, this 50:50 matching program is the primary federal investment tool to ensure that families have easy access to public, open spaces.

Over the life of the program, approximately $4 billion in LWCF grants to states has leveraged more than $7 billion in nonfederal matching funds. Please reference the National Park Service website for grants broken down per county in Kentucky. For detailed information about the sponsor, scope and district of LWCF stateside projects in Kentucky, please click here.

Support for LWCF Among Kentucky's Members of Congress

In Congress, “Dear Colleague” letters are circulated by Members to encourage their colleagues to cosponsor, support or oppose a bill or policy. Each year when legislation is drafted to set funding levels for federal programs, supporters of LWCF will use these “Dear Colleague” letters to highlight how important this program is to themselves and their constituents. The more Members that sign on to these letters, the more likely it is that LWCF will receive strong funding.

Below is a list of all Senators and Representatives from the State of Kentucky. Those with an "X" next to their name signed this year's Dear Colleague in support of strong appropriations for LWCF. Those without an "X" next to their name did not, though it is important to note that some supportive Members feel they cannot sign for various reasons. Those cases are as marked with an asterisk and a brief explanation.


Congressperson District FY 2017 "Dear Colleague" Letter
Senator Mitch McConnell (R) N/A  
Senator Rand Paul (R) N/A  
Representative Ed Whitfield (R) 1  
Representative Steven Brett Guthrie (R) 2  
Representative John A. Yarmuth (D) 3 X
Representative Thomas Massie (R) 4  
Representative Harold Rogers (R) 5  
Representative Garland Barr (R) 6