Created by Congress more than 50 year ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is a bipartisan commitment to safeguard our sporting heritage by securing lands with high wildlife habitat value, important water resources that support healthy fisheries, and access for recreational opportunities like hunting and fishing – activities that fuel a $887-billion outdoor recreation economy.
By utilizing revenues from the depletion of one natural resource – offshore oil and gas – to support the conservation of another precious resource – our land and water, LWCF doesn’t burden taxpayers; instead, it makes critical investments in partnership with state and local efforts to bolster America's national wildlife refuges, national forests, national trails and BLM areas.
This successful model works by providing matching grants to leverage investments from states and local governments and support shared public land conservation strategies and tools like voluntary conservation easements that permanently secure irreplaceable lands. The LWCF is intended to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of high quality recreation areas and facilities and to stimulate non-federal investments in the protection and maintenance of these places across the United States.
Despite its success and widespread bipartisan support, the future of the Land and Water Conservation Fund is in jeopardy. Without action by Congress to reauthorize it, the LWCF will sunset on Sept. 30, 2018.
Sportsmen and women depend on the public hunting and fishing access and quality fishing and wildlife habitat that the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided for generations. Now is the time to reauthorize and fully fund this important program for future generations of America’s hunters and anglers.