Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and a bipartisan coalition of Members of the House of Representatives announced the introduction of The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act at a press conference this morning.

The bill fully funds the LWCF at its authorized level of $900 million annually. LWCF does not use any taxpayer dollars – it is funded using a small portion of revenues from offshore oil and gas royalty payments.

Watch the press conference HERE.

“Since its establishment over 50 years ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has promoted recreational activity and contributed to our nation’s robust economy, along with conserving our national parks, forests, and critical wildlife areas. I fought for reauthorization of this fund which affects 98 percent of counties in the United States and encompasses 1 in 15 American jobs. Now I’m fighting to fully fund the LWCF so we can address conservation and recreational access needs across the country,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Protecting our public lands for future generations is essential, but it’s by no means guaranteed, especially as long as these funds are redirected away from their intended uses,” said Jonathan Asher, government relations director at The Wilderness Society and a spokesman for the LWCF Coalition.  “Without strong, consistent funding, our public lands will be under the constant threat of development. Congressman Fitzpatrick has been and remains a steadfast leader in the fight to secure full and dedicated funding for America’s most important conservation program.”

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund was permanently reauthorized because people across the country overwhelmingly support LWCF and the benefits it provides to communities,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs with the League of Conservation Voters.  “Now it’s time to keep up the momentum and ensure LWCF gets the funding it deserves.  LWCF deserves full, guaranteed funding at $900 million every single year so our growing population can have more parks and public lands to boost the outdoor recreation economy and quality of life for all communities.  We thank Rep. Fitzpatrick for his leadership on this legislation.”

“Securing permanent authorization for LWCF was a significant milestone, but it means very little without predictable, robust funding to unlock inaccessible public lands and create new outdoor recreation opportunities all across the country,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “This bill is key to supporting our outdoor economy and sportsmen and women. We want to thank Congressman Fitzpatrick for championing this legislation and remain committed to the success of this important program.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important conservation program, responsible for protecting parks, trails, wildlife refuges and recreation areas at the federal, state and local level.  For more than 50 years, it has provided critical funding for land and water conservation projects, access to recreation including hunting and fishing, and the continued historic preservation of our nation’s iconic landmarks from coast-to-coast.  

Outdoor recreation, conservation and historic preservation activities contribute more than $887 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting 7.6 million jobs.