This week marks the 100 day countdown until the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) expires and we lose one of the most powerful conservation tools in our arsenal. Although LWCF has protected public lands in 50 states, few Americans are familiar with it. LWCF ensures that a portion of the revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling on public land goes back to conservation efforts. It is a simple idea that ensures balance between development and conservation. LWCF has been used since 1965 to create new parks in urban environments, complete national parks, and protect recreation across the country.
How does LWCF work? It provides funding to acquire land from willing sellers and make it part of local, state, or national 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 in 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, home to challenging trails and spectacular views of Monterey Bay. LWCF has funded close-to-home recreation opportunities in all fifty states and every congressional district.
LWCF will expire in only 100 days. Unless Congress acts soon to renew LWCF, we all lose this important tool for protecting America’s public lands.
Read our letters about LWCF here. And take action by writing to your representatives today to tell them how important the outdoors are to you, and why it matters that they support the reauthorization of LWCF.