Letter: Urge support for LWCF —

Letter: Urge support for LWCF

By Mike Britton
The Spokesman-Review

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), now 50 years old, is a bipartisan commitment signed into law by Congress in 1965. Its purpose was to safeguard natural areas, water resources, cultural heritage and to provide for recreational opportunities to all Americans.

Revenue is derived from the $900 million per year royalties collected on offshore oil and gas leases. Congress, however, has diverted billions from this program creating a revenue shortfall of $30 billion in federal projects, and $27 billion in state projects. Funding has been reduced to an average of $100 million per year since 2007, while the average annual appropriation has been only $40 million per year since 1987.

The LWCF has partnered with some 44 local agencies that have co-funded, without taxpayer funding, approximately $637 million in critical Washington projects.

This is the last year of authorization. The law expires in September. There are three bills before Congress to reauthorize and continue funding.

Generally, the bills enjoy bipartisan support, but Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is one of only two from Washington’s delegation who have not signed on to support these bills and extend this funding program.

Information can be found at info@LWCFcoalition.org. Urge your representatives to fully support this program.

Mike Britton


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