Testifying to Turn the Tide for LWCF

Be the change you wish to see: Take a few minutes to tweet, email or call your representatives to urge their support of LWCF.

By Jessica Wahl November 17, 2015

On Wednesday November 18, the Vice Chair of OIA’s Board and President/CEO of Far Bank Enterprises, Travis Campbell testified in front of Congress on the future of America’s most successful recreation and conservation program on behalf of our industry, sportsmen and all recreating Americans. That program, the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), expired on September 30 after 50 years of recreation and conservation success stories. While we can’t all travel to Washington D.C. to testify in Congress, every voice does matter. Here’s a little background on the saga we like to call #LWCF’ed and some easy actions you can take to help back up Travis’ efforts.

LWCF redirects a portion of offshore oil and gas drilling revenue to lasting conservation programs, like creating urban recreation areas and protecting our National Parks from development. In the past three years alone, the fund has benefitted over 1,000 outdoor recreation projects.

Congress has been negotiating next steps for reauthorization, possibly as part of an Omnibus spending package that has a December 11 deadline. However, Representative Rob Bishop who serves as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, released his own version of LWCF that drastically limits the federal portion of the program, diverts LWCF dollars locally for purposes other than conservation and recreation, and to offshore exploration and energy worker training.

As an outdoor industry professional you have an important voice and perspective on this issue. By reaching out to your representative, you can help determine whether LWCF is renewed, modified or continues to languish.

Please contact your representatives right now with a simple message: “The expiration of LWCF breaks a 50 year old promise Congress made to the American people and it hurts American businesses. It is so simple and so necessary to preserve our shared national heritage, our shared land and water. LWCF reauthorization must be part of a bipartisan budget agreement negotiated in the next few weeks.”

Support Travis Campbell and our Industry by Getting Involved Today!

 As we approach the Centennial year of our national parks, please join us today to tell Congress to reauthorize LWCF with its original purpose intact: funding critical recreation and conservation projects in our backyards and in the backcountry. Here is a menu of options for speaking out to save the program that has helped over 40,000 recreation and conservation projects in the United States.

Social Outreach

Today the #outdoorindustry is testifying to Congress on the importance of #LWCF to business. Let’s change the course so we aren’t #LWCF’ed!

Thanks @RepRaulGrijalva for having @OIA member @SageFlyFish testify on the importance of LWCF to businesses–we don’t want to be #LWCF’ed!

Direct Involvement

Take one minute to call or email your representative directly telling them why the fund is so important to outdoor recreation and how protecting places to play outside directly fuels your business. Check this list to see if your representative in Congress is on the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Over-Achiever

Write an op-ed (we can help) and pitch it to your local paper. There is no better way to get the attention of your local elected officials and customers!

Please contact Jessica Wahl, OIA Recreation Policy Advisor – jwahl@outdoorindustry.org –  with questions or for further information.  A handy “101” primer on LWCF can be found here.

By working together, we can ensure that our strong outdoor business voice helps save this critical program.

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