Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jewell Announces Over $40 Million for State and Local land acquisition; reiterates call for full funding of LWCF

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that $40.03 million is being made available in allocations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and will be distributed to all 50 States, the Territories, and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation projects. LWCF state grant funds are awarded through Federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public outdoor recreation projects.

Secretary Jewell also underscored the importance of President Obama’s proposal to require mandatory, full funding of the program by 2015.

“For nearly half a century, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has used funds derived from energy development in federal waters to support conservation and recreation projects that create jobs, support local economies, and increase outdoor recreational opportunities in every county across the country,” said Jewell. “This is why President Obama is asking Congress to fully appropriate the money in this fund to be used for the purpose for which it is being collected, so we can help create outstanding outdoor spaces for all people from all backgrounds to enjoy sports and recreation close to home.”

The LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations, and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. The primary source of revenue for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is from Federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.
The funds enable State and local governments to establish everything from baseball fields to community green spaces; to provide public access to rivers, lakes and other water resources; and to conserve natural landscapes for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment.

Only once in the past 49 years has Congress appropriated LWCF funding at the full authorized level of $900 million. President Obama’s 2014 budget request includes a legislative proposal to establish dedicated mandatory funding for LWCF programs, with full funding at $900 million beginning in 2015.

Just what we need:  less private and more public land.

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