LWCF Funded Units in Minnesota

Federal Program  
Boundary Waters
Canoe Wild.
Chippewa-Superior NF  
 Crane Meadows NWR  
*Lower St Croix NSR  
Mississippi NRRA  
Minnesota Valley NWR  
*Saint Croix NSR  
Voyageurs NP  
*Northern Tallgrass
*Upper Mississippi
River NWR
Approximate Federal Total
State Program  
Approximate Total Stateside Grants
Federal Legacy Program  
Approximate Total FLP $16,000,000
Approximate Total Federal and State $237,500,000
*Multi-state project  

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LWCF Success in Minnesota

The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect some of Minnesota’s most treasured places.  Minnesota has received approximately $237 million over the past four decades, protecting places such as the Voyageurs National Park and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

Superior and Chippewa National Forests

The Minnesota Wilderness land acquisition program includes the Superior and Chippewa national forests in Minnesota.  The Superior NF spans 150 miles along the US-Canadian border and is one of the wettest, wildest forests in the national forest system.  Glacial lakes, bogs and rocky outcrops create the only thriving boreal or northern forest in the continental US. Over ten percent of the forest consists of surface water, and another 1,300 miles of cold-water streams and 950 miles of warm water streams flow through the landscape.  Meanwhile, over 400,000 acres of the Chippewa NF are actually lakes and wetlands.  The Chippewa contains two of Minnesota’s five largest lakes, and eight different types of wetlands each with distinct plant and animal life.

Economic Benefits

Active outdoor recreation is an important part of the Minnesota economy.  Each year, 1.6 million sportspersons and 2.1 million wildlife watchers combine to spend $4.3 billion on wildlife-associated recreation in Minnesota.  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 Minnesota

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 Minnesota. For detailed information about the sponsor, scope and district of LWCF stateside projects in Minnesota, please click here.

Support for LWCF Among Minnesota'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 Minnesota. 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 Amy Klobuchar (D) N/A X
Senator Al Franken (D) N/A X
Representative Timothy J. Walz (D) 1 X
Representative John Paul Kline (R) 2  
Representative Erik Paulsen (R) 3  
Representative Betty McCollum (D)* 4  
Representative Keith M. Ellison (D) 5 X
Representative Tom Emmer (R) 6  
Representative Collin C. Peterson (D) 7  
Representative Richard Nolan (D) 8 X


*Representative McCollum is storng advocate for LWCF, but as a member of the Interior Appropriations Committee will not sign on to a letter addressed to her own Committee.