Created by Congress in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the nation’s premier grant program to protect our parks, trails, wildlife habitat, working forests and open spaces.
LWCF has invested $637 million to protect the places that matter most to Washingtonians, like Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Columbia Gorge, local parks, working forests and wildlife refuges throughout the state.
The program is meant to receive $900 million a year from offshore oil and gas revenues -- not taxpayer dollars, and 85% of Americans support full funding of LWCF. Yet, year after year, Congress diverts most of these funds for purposes unrelated to conservation.
Join the Coalition in calling for full, dedicated funding and reauthorization of LWCF!
Proposed projects that will be lost without LWCF
Without LWCF, we’ll lose funding to protect these critical, ready-to-go projects which support our economy and ensure public access in communities across the state.
- Forest Legacy Program (Working forest conservation agreements)
- Mt. St. Helens Forest, $3.8 million
- S. Puget Sound Coastal Forest, $3.5 million
- LWCF Federal Program
- Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, $660,000
- Ebey's Landing National Historic Reserve, $1.4 million
- Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, $1.5 million
- Olympic National Park, $4.3 million total for two projects
- Pacific Crest Trail, $4 million total for two projects
- Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex, $259,750
- Washington Cascades - Yakima Watershed, $3 million
- Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, $4.2 million
- Stateside Matching Grant Program
Newspapers across the state endorse renewing, funding LWCF
“[LWCF] helps ensure the wilderness and the public access that help define the United States. Having vast swaths of land owned by the people and for the people is sacrosanct and should be protected by Congress."
The Tri-City Herald:
“There is too much to lose, both environmentally and economically, if this tax-free fund is allowed to expire. Our lawmakers need to support it and push it through as quickly as possible."
The Wenatchee World:
“Congress, take note, an outdoor recreational economy worth hundreds of millions will falter with inaction. It would be a grave mistake not to renew the program."
“LWCF projects may be among the best investments Congress has made in the last half-century…. The program has broad, bipartisan support, but like many other popular federal initiatives the LWCF has become just one chip in Congress’ winner-take-credit poker game. It’s time to shut up and deal. Ideally, the allocation from lease revenues would be protected from congressional larceny, and the program would be made permanent. After 50 years, the fund has more than proved itself."
The Everett Herald:
“After 50 years, the program has more than proved itself; it has become a necessary fixture in how we manage and support our public lands…. After a final reauthorization, Congress should resolve to honor its commitment to the fund by allocating to it all of the revenue it is due rather than skimming it to satisfy other responsibilities."
50 years of success in Washington State
LWCF in the News
angling photo by Scott Butner | Flickr