Congress pushes to gut Land and Water Conservation Fund
CONSERVATION — Very little good news is coming from the national hunting, angling and conservation groups that keep an eye on the U.S. Congress and it debates deficits, debt ceilings and revenue shortfalls.
On the chopping block today are projects that have protected water quality, working ranches and forests and critical natural resources, state and local parks, as well as those that ensure access to public lands for hunters, fishermen and outdoor recreationists.
The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote today on a recommendation to eviscerate the funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, cutting it by 80 percent from last year.
In Washington over the past 45 years, about $525 million from this fund has help protect public lands in national parks and forests across the state as well as providing matching project money for groups doing wildlife habitat work, including The Nature Conservancy and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
The Spokane County Conservation Futures Program has worked with Ducks Unlimited to harness Land and Water Conservation funding for securing and restoring wetlands such as the Slavin Conservation Area.
LWCF is in the crosshairs for cuts that could have far-reaching and devastating impacts on Washington’s outdoor recreation and tourism economy, according to theLand and Water Conservation Fund Coalition.