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$170.6 Million from the LWCF to Support Conservation

The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to safeguard our natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. Using zero taxpayer dollars, the fund invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to help strengthen communities, preserve our history and protect our national endowment of lands and waters. The LWCF program can be divided into the “State Side” which provides grants to State and local governments, and the “Federal Side” which is used to acquire lands, waters, and interests therein necessary to achieve the natural, cultural, wildlife, and recreation management objectives of federal land management agencies.

From the U.S. Department of the Interior

September 5, 2019, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced $170,623,713 million in grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to all 50 States, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects. LWCF funds are non-taxpayer dollars derived from Outer Continental Shelf lease revenues and are awarded through federal matching grants administered by the National Park Service.

“Using zero taxpayer dollars, LWCF invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to help rehabilitate and improve infrastructure at state and local parks and other recreation areas. Funds will also be used to maximize access by opening up landlocked public lands. A small investment in a little strip of land can open up thousands of acres to outdoor recreation enthusiasts.”

Secretary Bernhardt

“We are pleased with the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which came as part of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act earlier this year,” said National Park Service acting Deputy Director for Operations David Vela during remarks today at the National Association of State Park Directors conference. “Investing in high quality outdoor recreation space has proven to increase the public’s physical, cultural, and spiritual well-being. We look forward to continuing our work with state and local partners in the implementation of this important program.”

The LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure public 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.

Funds are also used to permanently conserve outdoor recreation areas for public use and enjoyment. The funds enable state and local governments to improve parks and other recreation areas in their communities by rehabilitating and upgrading existing parks, creating brand new parks in places that have none, and developing and expanding trail systems to link communities together and create recreation opportunities.

Since the inception of the LWCF, more than $4.4 billion has been made available to state and local governments to fund more than 43,000 projects throughout the nation.

The allocation for the State and Local Assistance grant (stateside) program is determined based on a formula set in the LWCF Act, and includes funds appropriated from the LWCF by Congress as well as revenue derived from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/lwcf.

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