The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a federal program that protects public lands in all 50 states – everything from iconic national parks, to state parks rich in close to home outdoor recreational opportunities, to your local community parks and ball fields.
Access to fishing, canoeing and kayak like at Douthat State Park
We all benefit from LWCF, because it provides public access for recreation, preserves our nation’s historic and cultural sites, and protects fish and wildlife habitat. If you like to hike, camp, swim in clean water, hunt, fish, or photograph nature, LWCF is for you!*
And it’s all done without tax payer dollars
Created by Congress in 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. It was a simple idea: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource – offshore oil and gas – to support the conservation of another precious resource – our land and water. *
Access to premier hiking destinations like at Grayson Highlands State Park
Every year, $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf are put into this fund. The fund was created to acquire and develop local, state and national parks as a way to expand outdoor recreation to a growing nation.
Yet, nearly every year, Congress breaks its own promise to the American people about how these funds will be used, and diverts much of this money to other things. As the fiscal cliff looms, we risk losing the fund all together to support other programs.*
Why not take this opportunity to contact your representatives in Congress to let them know how thankful you are for the support the LWCF provides to expand outdoor recreation opportunities across the country.
Access to historic and cultural treasures like Wilderness Road State Park
To help increase awareness in the importance of the fund, we are asking people who love our public lands, OUR public lands, to share this article on Facebook. If you are on Twitter, use hash tags like #LWCF and #WhyWeLoveLWCF. We will be tweeting starting November 21, 2012 and through the weekend about the many reasons we are thankful for the LWCF. Feel free to retweet!
Just about all of our Virginia State Parks are protected by the LWCF but with shrinking state support we need the LWCF money more than ever to continue to provide quality outdoor recreational facilities and opportunities. Look for the "Land and Water Conservation Fund" designation on the right side of your favorite Virginia State Park webpage.
Access to birding and wildlife watching venues like False Cape State Park
Did you know there are more than 6500 State Parks representing a total of 740 million annual visits? Check out our amazing State Parks across the country by visiting America's State Parks.
*Text excerpted from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition website.