The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been Reauthorized!
Next Step: Funding
NVOBC thanks our Federal Delegation for voting in favor of the Natural Resources Management Act and ensuring that the Land and Water Conservation Fund is permanently Reauthorized!
As Nevada moves to diversify our economy and attract more employers to our state, we need to protect programs that grow and maintain our outdoor recreation industry.
Without the Land and Water Conservation Fund, our state will lose key funding for parks and recreational areas all Nevadans know and love. This program isn't funded through taxpayer dollars, but through offshore drilling fees, and for every $1 invested in LWCF, local economies see an estimated $4 return.
We are grateful for reauthorization, and look forward to Congress taking action to fund the LWCF. Everyday that the LWCF goes unfunded, $2.4 million is lost for conservation, parks, and trails.
Hailed as “America’s most important conservation and recreation program,” the Land and Conservation Act was established in 1965 to provide funding for the conservation of special public lands for the benefit of all Americans. LWCF funds projects in national parks, wildlife refuges and habitat, historic sites, forests, neighborhood parks and recreational centers -- ensuring Nevadans can continue hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping in the outdoors.
LWCF is funded through revenue paid to the federal government from offshore oil and gas drilling leases, capped at $900 million annually. It is NOT funded by tax-payer dollars. LWCF buys pockets of private land within national parks, around national forests, wildlife refuges and other recreation areas, and conserves these lands to protect them from private development. Through its state matching grant programs, LWCF funds local parks, playgrounds, and sports fields that help grow state economies and provide families additional recreation opportunities. LWCF also supports local economies by providing grants to working ranches and farms to ensure the conservation of key waterways and forests.
- LWCF is the only federal program designed to finish our public lands, expand access to the outdoors, and support local parks.
- Nevada has received nearly $60 million in LWCF funding to protect and upgrade special places like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and the Lake Tahoe Basin. Another $40 million in LWCF state assistance grants have supported projects at well-known Nevada parks, including Sunset Park, Lorenzi Park, and the Springs Preserve.
- If LWCF is not funded, millions of jobs and millions of revenue from the outdoor recreation industry could be lost -- in addition to the possibility that Nevada families would see favorite outdoor areas and recreation projects lost to development or remain unfinished.
- February 2019 saw unity in our Congress as both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Natural Resources Management Act. Among other important elements, the Act permanently reauthorize the LWCF.
- The next step after reauthorization is critical - funding. LWCF has never been fully funded at the $900 million level. We're hoping Congress makes this right, and provides full funding to this important program.