BOULDER, Colo. – June 12, 2019 – Congress took a huge step earlier this year when it passed the public lands package that permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) ensuring a major funding mechanism for our public lands remains intact. Still, this was only part of the battle to protect our public lands and the communities that depend on the outdoor recreation economy. LWCF is critical to recreation access projects in almost every county in the country and our member businesses, and customers, need certainty that this program will be fully funded, not pilfered, in the future to support the growing outdoor recreation economy and the 7.6 million jobs tied to outdoor recreation.
“Every dollar diverted from fully funding LWCF at $900 million a year is a lost opportunity to maintain and bolster our public lands and the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy that millions of Americans depend upon for their livelihoods and well-being,” said Patricia Rojas-Ungar, vice president of government affairs for Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). “This is why OIA and our members support the bill to fully fund LWCF sponsored by Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) with help from all the bipartisan leaders working tirelessly to fully fund LWCF and ensure we seize the opportunity to create landscape connectivity, invest in our hiking and biking trails, provide funding for playgrounds, ballfields, and community gardens and more. We urge everyone who cares about getting outside on our public lands and the businesses and communities who rely on the outdoor recreation economy to contact their representatives in Congress and tell them to get LWCF fully funded.”