March 28, 2014

Could the President’s budget protect one of your favorite places?

The Coalition is very excited to see that the Obama Administration’s recently released 2015 budget proposes full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The budget restores the promise that a small portion of the revenues derived from offshore oil and gas development are used to make strategic investments to protect America’s irreplaceable natural, historic and recreational outdoor places. $900 million is meant to go toward the LWCF each year, but it has only been fully funded once in its 50-year history.

For Fiscal Year 2014, the program received $306 million nationally.

Projects proposed for funding in the President’s budget in Washington state include:

Olympic National Park – Grays Harbor County

$5.22 million to protect lakeshore properties along Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park. Development is threatening water quality and adversely affecting fish spawning beds, as well as the visitor experience.

South Puget Sound Coastal Forest (Forest Legacy Program) – Mason County

$4 million to preserve a working tree farm on Hood Canal that will protect the local shellfish industry and ensure greater public access to regional forests and trails.

Pysht Coastal Forest Phase 2 (Forest Legacy Program) – Clallam County

$2 million to protect habitat and salmon spawning streams along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and preserve working forest jobs.

Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail – Stevens County

$2.7 million to conserve grizzly bear and Canadian lynx habitat while filling in a 2.5 mile gap of the Pacific Northwest Trail along Big Sheep Creek.

Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail – King County

$2.8 million for trail, resource, and watershed protection through the populous King County enabling increased public use and recreation.

Washington Cascades-Yakima River Watershed / Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest – Kittitas County

$2.7 million to protect lands in the Naches watershed and Keechelus-Kachess area of the Central Cascades, to ensure properties are available for recreational opportunities, habitat preservation, water quality protection, and improved forest management against wildfires and pests.

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – Clark County

$500,000 to preserve historical resources along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and allow 13 listed salmon and steelhead stocks to reverse their downward population trend in the Columbia watershed.

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge – Pacific County

$1 million to protect Willapa Bay frontage, two miles of fish bearing streams, 70 acres of emergent and forested salt marsh, and 20 acres of riparian habitats.

Photo by USFWS Pacific Region.