Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in 1964, but without your help it will expire this September.
The LWCF, which is funded by a small portion of federal offshore drilling fees, was created to protect our land, water and recreational areas as well as improve outdoor recreational opportunities for all Americans. Its loss would deal a serious blow to NYS conservation and outdoor recreation needs.
- preserves the areas that we use to hike, paddle, bike, hunt, fish and watch wildlife;
- enhances our national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges;
- preserves historic battlefields and cultural sites;
- safeguards rivers, watersheds, water supplies;
- conserves working forests, ranches and farms;
- preserves natural areas and wildlife habitats;
- creates and improves state and local parks; and
- supports local economies and jobs through increased outdoor recreation.
The LWCF has strong bipartisan support: Over 82% of voters approve the use of the royalties in the LWCF. This includes hikers, paddlers, fishermen, hunters, farmers, outdoor equipment and clothing manufacturers and retailers, the tourism industry and others.
ADK members regularly visit locations which have benefited much from LWCF, including:
- most New York State Parks, such as Letchworth, Moreau, and Bear Mountain;
- numerous local preserves such as the Pine Bush Unique Area;
- Sterling Forest;
- long distance trails such as the Appalachian Trail and Long Path sections 26 & 27 – Huntersfield Ridge/ Ginseng Mountain.
For a listing of locations that received LWCF State and Local Assistance grants from 1965 to 2011 click on the following link, which can be sorted by county, amount, etc. http://projects.invw.org/data/lwcf/grants-ny.html
You can find much more information on the LWCF at https://www.lwcfcoalition.com
What you can do:
- Send a letter to your representatives to ensure that we permanently reauthorize and fully fund the LWCF at $900 million annually. Personalize the letter by including LWCF-funded areas near you that you enjoy (see link above).
Martha Waldman has been an active member of ADK since 2003. She is a member of the Conservation Committee, an Outings Leader and a trail worker. When not doing volunteer work she loves to hike.