Now that the 116th Congress has taken office, your voice is needed. Urge your Member of Congress to support permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), America’s most useful and cost-effective conservation program. LWCF was allowed to expire last year, and so far the country has lost more than $230 million that should be used to protect redwood forests and other wildlands and make parks accessible.
For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has served as the engine of America’s conservation and outdoor recreation movement. Without using a single taxpayer dollar, LWCF invests in our quality of life, a booming recreation economy, and our history and culture by using Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy revenue to conserve land and build parks.
This is America’s most important conservation program, which has protected iconic places like Muir Woods National Monument and connected people to the outdoors at the federal, state, and local levels, from coast to coast. LWCF helped make it possible for Save the Redwoods League to help expand Redwood National Park. Our work to protect Mailliard Ranch, Westfall Ranch, and other redwood forests is also made possible with funding from programs including the LWCF, leveraged with support from League members like you. We can’t protect and restore the redwoods without LWCF, or without you!
LWCF was poised for permanent reauthorization, with strong bipartisan support. However, during the lame duck session, leadership failed to bring the relevant legislation to a vote despite the great effort of its Congressional supporters. In the end, the program’s renewal was stymied by the budget gridlock, which resulted in the third government shutdown of 2018.
California has received more than $2.4 billion from the LWCF in the last 50 years, helping to build ball fields, protect forestlands, and expand access to outdoor recreation. With the passage of Prop 68, the $4.1 billion Park and Water Bond of 2018, California voters signaled their strong support for parks and land conservation. The federal government should share these priorities, which are broadly supported. Congress must capitalize on the rare bipartisan cooperation that LWCF inspires and permanently reauthorize the program with full funding. Our public lands deserve nothing less.
Contact Your Member of Congress
- Please reach out to your member of Congress today.
- Introduce yourself. Let your representative know where you are from and why you are reaching out.
- Mention your personal connection to the parks and waterways protected by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
- Consider sharing any of the talking points below that resonate with you.
- Ask your Member of Congress to support the renewal of LWCF and say that you’d like to see it fully funded.
- Be sure to thank the person you are speaking to and for passing on your concerns.
- I strongly support the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I expect Congress to continue to support the use of our royalties from offshore energy development for conservation and recreation, as intended by the LWCF Act for over half a century.
- Lack of consistent dedicated full funding for LWCF means expanded hunting and fishing access will remain closed to the public and hiking, biking, climbing and paddling routes will become overcrowded or left vulnerable to development. This hurts America’s $887 billion recreation economy and the 7.6 million American jobs on which it depends.
- The federal government, through LWCF, has long been a partner in creating urban parks across the country, particularly through State and Local assistance grants. LWCF has funded playgrounds, ball fields, and neighborhood parks providing close-to-home recreation for millions of American families. These local efforts are also on the chopping block.
- Congress must capitalize on the rare bipartisan cooperation that LWCF inspires and renew the program with full funding. Bipartisan support for LWCF in Congress has been strong and consistent for over half a century.
- I hope you will stand up and defend our most important conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. To do otherwise will hurt both urban and rural communities in every state.
Learn more about LWCF and why it is our nation’s most critical conservation and recreation tool.