Washington, D.C. --Authorization for the nation’s most successful conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), expired on Sunday. Failure by Congress to save this essential program will put the outdoor places we love and America’s recreational economy at extreme risk. The LCWF is a bipartisan program that protects and preserves our national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, monuments, and more than 40,000 state and local parks throughout the country.
"The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a hugely popular and successful conservation program," said Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center Director Tim Schaefer. "It's deeply disappointing to see that Congress failed to reauthorize it. Far too often, revenue from offshore oil leases goes to projects that don't benefit the public --but the LWCF has used that revenue to preserve and protect dozens of parks around the state. It was poised to provide a vital new protection to the Boundary Waters via land swap that would have also provided property tax relief to Minnesota citizens."
"There was simply no good excuse to let it expire," Schaefer added.
For more than five decades, LWCF has funded tens of thousands of conservation and public access sites, from national parks to local ballfields. Americans from across the country have benefited from the fund, while enjoying public pools and access to some of America’s most iconic landscapes, all while supporting a booming outdoor recreation economy.
Environment Minnesota is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization and a project of Environment America. We believe there’s something special about Minnesota — something worth protecting and preserving for future generations.