Conserve conservation fund
In 1964, Congress set up a program to use lease funds paid by oil companies for offshore drilling to enhance recreation opportunities and protect our outdoors. It is called the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and it has worked well, even though Congress diverted much of the money for other purposes. Recently, I was in Washington to ask our members of Congress to protect this fund from being raided again.
Some LWCF money has helped improve Mount Spokane, Dishman Hills and Fish Trap Lake Conservation Area, as well as hundreds of other state and local parks that we use with our families.
Protecting these lands is also good for our pocketbooks. Hunting and fishing are important to our economy. In fact, the experts say outdoor recreation contributes more than $11.7 billion every year to Washington’s economy.
Some members of Congress want to raid LWCF again, but most members of our congressional delegation understand that it helps our state and federal agencies. I hope all of our elected leaders will fight to restore this national commitment to our outdoor recreation heritage.
Let them know you want these funds used as originally intended, to protect jobs and support our economy.
Richard G. Mathisen