Northwest States To Receive $14 Million From Interior’s Land And Water Conservation Fund; Can Be Used For ESA Habitat

The Interior Department this week announced $227,125,000 will be distributed from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to states and territories for park and outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

This represents an increase of $57 million over last year’s LWCF allocation, a result of an increase in revenues from oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Washington State will receive $4.6 million, Oregon $3.2 million, Idaho $2.2 million and Washington $4.6 million.

“This is significant, as the LWCF leverages additional public and private dollars to expand outdoor recreation opportunities for the American people and invest in conservation projects across the country,” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

The LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands. Funds are also used to permanently conserve outdoor recreation areas for public use.

The LWCF program supports the protection of federal public lands and waters – including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas – and voluntary conservation on private land. LWCF investments secure public access, improve recreational opportunities, and preserve ecosystem benefits for local communities.

The program includes:

LWCF State Grants program

Provides matching grants to state and tribal governments for the acquisition and development of public parks and other outdoor recreation sites. Grants have funded projects in every county in the country, over 40,000 projects since 1965. Number of projects = 41,999. Funding provided = $3.9 billion.

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund

Grants provide funds to states and territories to work with private landowners, conservation organizations, and other partners to protect and conserve the habitat of threatened and endangered species. Number of grants = 246. Funding provided = $394 million.

Forest Legacy Program

Provides grants through state partners to protect environmentally sensitive forest lands while maintaining private ownership and working forests. Total acres protected = 2.37 million. Funding provided =$1.4 billion.

Since the inception of the LWCF, more than $4.4 billion has been made available to state and local governments to fund more than 44,000 projects throughout the nation. The allocation for the State and Local Assistance Grant Program is determined based on a formula set in the LWCF Act, and includes funds appropriated from the LWCF by Congress as well as revenue derived from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.

More news from CBB: