We have a critical opportunity to secure full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and your urgent action is needed!
Both the U.S. Senate and the House are expected to consider legislation in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The legislation is expected to include a provision to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and is expected to be considered as early as Wednesday of this week (July 28). Please call your senators and representative and urge them to support passage of the energy/oil spill legislation with full funding for LWCF.
The tragedy of the oil spill reminds us of the vulnerability of our public lands and waters, surrounding communities, and wildlife. We need sustained investment to provide long-term protection for the natural places that are so important to us, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund was designed to do just that.
LWCF is authorized to receive $900 million per year through fees on offshore oil and gas leases. This represents a very small percentage of the total lease fees collected. However, Congress and various Administrations have diverted many of these funds from their intended purpose over the years. Today, the LWCF has an authorized balance of more than $17 billion that should have been spent on conservation, but was not—a $17 billion broken promise.
What You Can Do
Please call your members of Congress today and ask them to vote in support of the oil spill legislation and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Contact your members of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Additional speaking points and background:
• A recent bipartisan poll shows an overwhelming majority of voters (86%) support committing funds from offshore drilling fees to LWCF.
• Outdoor recreation, much of which takes place on lands and waters protected by LWCF, is vital to our nation’s economy. According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, outdoor recreation contributes over $730 billion annually and supports 6.5 million jobs.
• As the devastating effects of the BP oil spill demonstrate, offshore oil production can itself be a major threat to our nation’s already-limited inventory of natural resources. Full, reliable funding of LWCF is needed to provide an environmental return to the public. It is time to renew the commitment to conservation through full and permanent LWCF funding.
Learn more about LWCF>>
Deputy Director of Conservation
Appalachian Mountain Club
Labels: CAN, conservation, LWCF