Nearly 50 years ago a far-sighted, bipartisan group in Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund, tapping a fraction of the royalties from offshore oil and gas production to give all Americans a lifetime of outdoor recreational opportunity. Congress intended the Fund to be used for “preserving, developing, and assuring accessibility to … outdoor recreation resources … and to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States ….”
Despite the fact that Congress typically does not fund LWCF at the $900 million level authorized, every state has benefited from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It has built swimming pools and softball fields, improved hiking trails and campgrounds, and provided access to public land of incomparable beauty for the enjoyment of Americans of every age, background and place of residence.
From the high cool alpine meadows of Colorado to the muggy bayous of Louisiana, the Land & Water Conservation Fund has benefited a wide array of American landscapes and families. This report, "The Land & Water Conservation Fund: From the Mountains to the Bayou, Connecting America's Sportsmen for 50 Years", was developed by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation to highlight just a few of the lands and waters that have benefited from the Land & Water Conservation Fund.
Click here to learn more about how the Land & Water Conservation Fund has conserved valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and provided needed public hunting and fishing access near you.
Napa, Calif. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today welcomed the Interior Secretary and Under Secretary of Agriculture to California for a public meeting about the opportunities to protect Berryessa Snow Mountain as a national monument.
“Hunting and angling are inextricably linked to healthy habitat. It is our responsibility as sportsmen to protect our wild country and public lands,” said J.R. Young, a volunteer leader of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers-California and resident of Los Gatos. “The Berryessa Snow Mountain region is a national treasure worthy of permanent protection for all visitors to enjoy.”
The Berryessa Snow Mountain region provides many places for outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing. Blacktail deer, wild turkey, black bears, mountain lions and herds of wild tule elk call the region home. Trout streams in the region include the trophy trout fisheries of Putah Creek and the headwaters of the Eel River. The Middle Fork of Stony Creek in the Snow Mountain Wilderness is now state-designated wild trout water, and a segment of Putah Creek is proposed for this designation as well. The bass fishing in Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa is world-class.
MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers applauded federal legislation passed by the Senate today which protects habitat, access and outdoor opportunity for some of America’s finest hunting lands and fishing waters.
“Today’s bipartisan action in Washington D.C. packs historic benefits for America’s outdoors families,” said Land Tawney, executive director of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “This conservation vision represents decades of hard work by hunters and anglers and other partners to keep America’s Great Outdoors the envy of the world. This is an important day for sportsmen today and for generations to come.”
Today, the Senate passed a massive bill to fund the Department of Defense which now goes to the President’s desk for final passage. Tawney highlighted several habitat conservation measures attached to that bill: the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act in Colorado; the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act and North Fork Protection Act in Montana; the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Act in New Mexico and the Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act.
The following article originally appeared in the Mountain Mail.
Journal entry from Browns Canyon on November 29, 2014.
“I’ve backpacked a few miles southeast of Ruby Mountain on the Turret Trail, trying to get to a spot flat enough to nail down my tiny shelter and gather firewood before I get caught in the dark. Getting caught out in the dark in these dry washes and rugged hills doesn’t pose much of a problem though, because there’s a half moon tonight. It’s late November, and there’s a chinook wind coming in. It won’t even freeze tonight at 8,000 feet above sea level…one of the advantages of a warm wind blowing downslope, and the fact that I’m visiting some unique low-elevation wilderness in Colorado. I come here from time to time to muscle my way into the backcountry, clear my head, and listen to the wind blow through the pinions. This isn’t the first time I’ve spent time in Browns Canyon, and it certainly won’t be the last.”