Outdoor Alliance is deeply disappointed to see Congress fail to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund ahead of its expiration on September 30. Over its 50-year life, LWCF has proven indispensable for providing close-to-home opportunities for outdoor recreation, as well as for protecting our country's most iconic landscapes. Its expiration is an unfortunate loss for the outdoor recreation community, but we are greatly encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of support and energy from our community and the overwhelming majority of Congress, and we will continue to work to ensure that this essential program for outdoor recreation is ultimately reauthorized.
"The Land and Water Conservation Fund improves quality of life for all Americans," said Adam Cramer, Executive Director of Outdoor Alliance. "From ensuring access points to rivers for paddling to building local parks, it's an incredible program that enhances our relationship with the outdoors. The program is fair, makes sense, and has powerful public support. Failing to promptly reauthorize LWCF would be silly."
The Land and Water Conservation fund uses a portion of the royalties from off-shore oil and gas leasing to fund outdoor recreation and conservation priorities. It represents a fair and longstanding commitment by Congress to the American people that resource development will occur in tandem with protection for public lands.
Over the life of the program, LWCF has funded critical protections for river corridors in places like West Virginia’s Gauley and New Rivers and helped establish public river access points for canoers, kayakers, and rafters at places like Washington’s White Salmon River. LWCF has made possible thousands of miles of singletrack for mountain bikers and hikers, including at areas like the world-class trail system at Lory State Park near Fort Collins, Colorado, and Toro Park, California. LWCF has funded projects in every county in the United States.