Opinion: Time to make sure LWCF is fully funded and permanently reauthorized

By Todd Waldron

Originally published in the Sun Community News and Printing

SEPTEMBER 16, 2018 7:00 AM

To the Editor:

On Sunday, Sept. 30, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of our country’s most successful outdoor conservation tools, is set to expire.

Since its bipartisan inception in 1964, the LWCF has contributed close to $4 billion for federal, state and local governments to sustain important lands, waters, conserve fish and wildlife habitat and to enhance public access to those very same lands and waters.  

The LWCF is funded by a portion of royalties the federal government collects from offshore oil and gas production. It doesn’t cost tax payers a cent.

Since its inception, over 40,000 projects have been funded through the LWCF, including parks and campgrounds in nearly every county of every state in the country.

LWCF has contributed $336 million to our state in its 54-year history. LWCF funded projects in New York include:

Rensselaer Plateau Working Forest

Finger Lakes National Forest

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace and Inaugural Sites

Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

Now it’s time to do our part for the LWCF and urge our representatives to permanently reauthorize and dedicate full funding before Sept. 30.

Please contact Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) and make sure she understands the importance of the LWCF to outdoor recreation and local economies.

Ask her to ensure that the benefits of the LWCF are permanently authorized and handed down to the generations of hunters and anglers to come.

- Todd Waldron, Chair, New York Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Chestertown

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