The benefits of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to sportsmen and sportswomen in Colorado are many. In fact, every county in the state has benefited from hundreds of LWCF projects that have helped provide everything from state wildlife areas, to river accesses, to adding public lands to the San Juan National Forest.
Since Congress created the LWCF in 1965, Colorado has been the recipient of $268 million of funding. These dollars don’t come from taxpayers. Instead, the program is funded by revenues from oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. The idea is simple: reinvest resource extraction dollars into projects that benefit the health and vitality of all Americans through outdoor recreation.
The programs does this through matching grants to state and local governments, as well as opportunities for agencies like the BLM and Forest Service to acquire new public lands from willing sellers, if approved by Congress.
In this way, LWCF helps to provide all citizens with a place to recreate.
Unfortunately, LWCF is in jeopardy. Unless Congress reauthorizes it by Sept. 30, the program will expire.
It is unthinkable that our elected officials would let this happen, but the clock is ticking.
I hope you will join me in urging our leaders in Congress to continue pushing for permanent reauthorization of this vital program.