America's Most Important Conservation and Recreation Program Turns 50
Founded in 1964 to conserve America's natural and cultural heritage, LWCF is dedicated to the continued conservation of our iconic national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness, Civil War battlefields, and important historic sites, as well as developing state and local parks, working forests, connecting urban youth to nature, providing hunting and angling access, helping to protect threatened and endangered species and protecting water quality and drinking water. LWCF, which is funded through off-shore gas royalties and not taxpayer dollars, strives to provide access for all Americans to their public lands. In 2014, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of America's most important conservation program.
From National Parks to Local Playgrounds
Over its more than 50-year history, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has conserved iconic landscapes in every state and is responsible for more than 40,000 state and local outdoor recreation projects such as playgrounds, urban parks, refuges, and baseball fields. For example, LWCF has contributed to the protection of:
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
- Mount Rainier National Park,Washington
- The Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine
- Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland
- Western Park in Burlington, North Carolina
- Chicago Spray Pools in Chicago, Illinois
- MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, California
Preserving America's History
Preserving America’s cultural heritage for generations to come is an important role LWCF plays. LWCF protects Civil War battlefields, presidential sites, landmarks of American history, and other important cultural places including:
- Flight 93 Memorial
- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
- Gettysburg National Military Park
- Captain John Smith's Chesapeake National Historic Trail
- George Washington's Mount Vernon
- Women's Rights National Historic Park
- Nez Perce National Historic Site
Protecting America's Hunting and Angling Traditions
- Cross Mountain Ranch, Colorado - LWCF helped open 920 acres of land on the Yampa River in northwest Colorado for hunting, fishing, and recreation.
- Big Rivers Corridor, Kentucky - 4,285 acres of nationally recognized hunting land is now open to the public where before access was restricted.
- Tenderfoot, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana - Over 8,200 acres of land and watershed are now protected for fish & wildlife and open for recreation.
- Chippewa Flowage forest, Wisconsin - This unique area has been protected as a working Forest land, keeping jobs in the area, and as access for hunting and fishing.
- Three Dollar Bridge, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Montana- This 1,521-acre conservation easement protects one of the most important wildlife corridors in the Greater Yellowstone region and provides public access to the Madison River for fly fishing.
- Dakota Grasslands Conservation Area - LWCF helped protect this important piece of the Dakotas, working to improve access for sportsmen, conserve prairie-lands and protect the flyway for duck hunters across the country.
Supporting Local Economies
- LWCF has made possible all public access to the Gauley River in southern West Virginia—where some 50,000 people now run the river every year adding millions of dollars to the state’s economy.
- In Ohio, hunters and anglers spend $2.75 billion in a year and support more than 46,000 jobs—and in a state where private land prevails, LWCF has provided public hunting and fishing access to rivers like the Little Miami and along the Great Lakes at Ottawa NWR.
- At least 68% of Oregon residents participate in outdoor recreation each year, combined with visitors, outdoor recreation generates $12.8 billion in consumer spending and supports over 140,000 jobs.