Land and Water Conservation Fund still waiting for reauthorization
Jan 08, 2019
The Land and Water Conservation Fund
For 52 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has protected national parks and open spaces in every corner of the United States. Now, it could be gone forever – and along with it, future protection of the places we love.
In Wisconsin, the LWCF has invested more than $215 million to protect our open spaces, build national trails, and increase recreation access in large and small communities alike.
From national wildlife refuges and national forests to ball fields and community parks, LWCF has protected places like Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wolf Wild and Scenic River, Devil’s Lake State Park, High Cliff State Park, and Central Sands Pine Forest. It might have helped build your favorite city park.
Wisconsin’s $17.9 billion outdoor recreation industry is an economic powerhouse – supporting 168,000 jobs which generate $5.1 billion in wages and salaries and produces $1.1 billion annually in state and local tax revenue.
The Trump Administration’s budget calls for near complete elimination of LWCF funding. Now that the fund has expired, it’s imperative that Congressional leaders call a vote on legislation that permanently reauthorizes the fund.
The LWCF has bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. Its expiration is a clear failure of leadership. Wisconsin communities need Congress to fix this and save America’s best parks program, now.