The future of conservation funding is at a crossroads. With less than two months left in the Congressional session, sportsmen are looking for a legislative solution that finally fulfills a promise that's been unmet for too long - a promise Congress made 50 years ago to fund conservation through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Since it was created, LWCF has had bi-partisan support as it is financed by revenues from off-shore oil and gas revenues rather than taxes. Yet every year congress diverts the majority of the $900 million that it is authorized to spend on conservation to non-conservation purposes, leaving a massive backlog of conservation needs. It’s time to put an end to this robbery and fund that which sportsmen depend on – public hunting and fishing access and quality fish and wildlife habitat.
Over the years LWCF has been used to create new wildlife refuges, purchase private in-holdings within otherwise contiguous blocks of public backcountry habitat and provide public access to otherwise inaccessible public lands and waters.
As congress makes necessarily difficult financial decisions for our country, it's imperative that they continue to fund what makes America great; free access to wild public lands.
It goes without saying that sportsmen stand to gain a great deal from LWCF. So, as congress works towards balancing a budget,please take a minute to remind your decision makers that sportsmen depend on the public access and quality habitat that LWCF provides. Full, dedicated funding of LWCF would be a historic step towards ensuring public access to quality fish and wildlife habitat for years to come.