Land and Water Conservation Fund 101

By Jessica Wahl October 5, 2017

After a successful bid to get the Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorized in 2015, we are again facing its expiration in October 2018. With exactly 365 days left before this important legislation could expire and its funding sources dry up, OIA is ready to #SaveLWCF again. Here’s a quick guide to the fund and why it is important for outdoor businesses.

  • This bipartisan program began in 1965, when Congress agreed that a small portion of federal leasing revenues from offshore energy development should be reinvested to protect public land.
  • The funds protect national treasures in and around national parks, forests, monuments and refuges as well as state and local programs and LWCF funding has gone to almost every county in the country.
  • LWCF dollars also provide crucial support to create and enhance state and local parks and to develop close-to-home recreation facilities across the country.
  • LWCF is funded by a percentage of the more than $6.7 billion in annual offshore oil and gas lease revenue, not taxpayer dollars.
  • Every year, LWCF can receive up to $900 million of offshore gas and drilling revenue to spend on conservation efforts; although, Congress has chronically underfunded it.
  • Money intended for this program continues to be diverted for other purposes, and recently the fund has received only one-third of its authorized funding level.
  • LWCF needs permanent authorization and full funding (at $900 million).

Take Action Today

  • Use the Legislator Lookup in our Advocacy Center to send your senators and representatives an email telling them why the fund is so important to outdoor recreation and how protecting places to play outside directly fuels your business.


Learn More About the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Take Action