Funding for River Access and More–Support LWCF

posted March 12, 2013
by Megan Hooker

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In a bipartisan effort last month, the Senate introduced the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013 (S.338). If passed, the bill will reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), continuing 50 years of funding projects that conserve and protect our natural resources, benefit local, state and national parks, and protect water quality and communities from natural hazards. The LWCF also preserves open spaces for wildlife habitat and secures recreation access. We have the LWCF to thank for bringing key parcels into public ownership on the White Salmon River and Green River in Washington. In addition, LWCF has provided critical funding support for projects that have protected the scenic qualities of the New and Gauley in West Virginia, the Middle Fork Salmon in Idaho, Illinois RIver in Oregon, and Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River on the Idaho/Oregon border. You can find out how to support a strong and healthy LWCF below!

In addition to reauthorizing LWCF, S.338 will also fully fund the program, which is filled from revenues generated from oil and gas production in federal waters. No taxpayer dollars are used to supply the Fund, which is authorized to receive $900 million each year. Unfortunately, the full level of funding has rarely been realized throughout the history of the LWCF, as funds are often diverted elsewhere. Projects funded by the LWCF boost tourism, expand recreation spending and improve the quality of life for communities and local businesses. Fully funding the LWCF will help to expand the footprint of these economic benefits for current and future generations.  

The Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act was introduced by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), and originally co-sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), Mark Udall (CO), Jon Tester (MT) and Tom Udall (NM). The bill currently has 14 additional co-sponsors, listed below. Please take a moment to either thank your Senator for supporting the bill, or encourage them to support reauthorizing and fully funding the LWCF through Outdoor Alliance’s Take Action on LWCF page. Be sure to personalize your letter, speaking to why the fund is important to you!

Co-sponsors of S.338-Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act:

Senator Michael Bennet (CO)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Senator Barbara Boxer (CA)
Senator Christopher Coons (DE)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Senator Lindsey Graham (SC)
Senator Kay Hagan (NC)
Senator Martin Heinrich (NM)
Senator Tim Johnson (SD)
Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN)
Senator Jeff Merkley (OR)
Senator Christopher Murphy (CT)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH)
Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI)