Support the Land and Water Conservation Fund!
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) coalition is working together to promote reauthorization and full funding of LWCF. Every year, we educate and engage Congress and the White House to ensure adequate funding to LWCF through the appropriations process. Unfortunately, since 1965 when LWCF was created, Congress has not kept the promise of funding LWCF at the authorized level of $900 million annually, and now LWCF is about to expire in September 2015 without congressional action. Legislation is needed to ensure reauthorization and dedicated funding of LWCF at its authorized level to conserve our nation’s treasured lands and waters, and to ensure that all Americans have access to quality parks and recreation opportunities.
Current Legislation in the 114th Congress
In the Senate
S. 338: Introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), this bill would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), as well as direct a very small amount of LWCF funding (1.5% or $10M annually) to opening up additional access to public lands for sportsmen and other recreational users. It follows up on an amendment with identical language offered by Sens. Burr, Bennet and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to the Keystone XL bill in January 2015, which garnered 59 bipartisan votes (just missing the 60 needed to pass).
S. 890: Introduced by Sen. Cantwell (D-WA), this bill not only would permanently reauthorize LWCF, but provide for full, dedicated and permanent funding of the program as well. This would stop LWCF’s funding from being siphoned off each year in the appropriations process for other, unknown and unaccountable purposes. In the 50-year history of LWCF, over $18 billion intended for LWCF has been lost to the General Treasury this way. Consistent, predictable funding at the level Congress deemed necessary in 1978 (not even indexed for inflation!) would finally fulfill LWCF’s true promise to the American people.
In the House of Representatives
H.R. 1814: Introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), this bill is a companion to S. 338 on the Senate side and would likewise permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), as well as direct a very small amount of LWCF funding (1.5% or $10M annually) to opening up additional access to public lands for sportsmen and other recreational users.