And does it help animals and the environment?
The Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was signed into law on September 3rd of 1964 and went into effect on January 1st of 1965. Its 2 main purposes were to allow the federal government to acquire and develop land for conservation purposes and to fund state and local grants for outdoor recreation resources. It was originally funded for a period of 25 years but had been extended twice before expiring on September 30th of 2018. On February 12th of 2019, the Senate passed the Natural Resources Management Act (NRMA) by a vote of 92 – 8. This permanently funds about half of the LWCF’s $900 million annual budget. It is expected to pass both the House of Representatives and the President.
The LWCF is probably the most important law on the books when it comes to your experience with public lands. It has benefited every single county in the country. It funds national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, rivers and lakes. It also funds community parks, trails and ball fields in all 50 states. It is funded by royalties from energy companies, paid to the government from off-shore oil and gas drilling on federal lands. The LWCF has grown and evolved over the years and now supports other conservation purposes. Unfortunately, Congress has only appropriated the full $900 million once or twice in the years that the act has been in place. Because of this, there is a backlog of federal conservation needs estimated at more than $30 billion.
Even though the NRMA is considered to be some of the most important public lands legislation since the 1970’s, it’s also a compromise. While there is legislation that is seen as not being completely environmentally friendly, most of it is well regarded and the partial funding of the LWCF is widely considered to be a very large win for our environment.
We would love to know your thoughts regarding either the LWCF or the NRMA. Please write to us by email info@