September 17, 2018
RMEF to Congress: Reauthorize, Fund LWCF
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation calls on Congress to renew and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with full, dedicated, annual funding.
“For 52 years now, LWCF has provided critical funding for landscapes, wildlife and riparian habitat, wildlife refuges and national parks, and even community recreation facilities and neighborhood parks,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “These LWCF-funded projects provide long-lasting benefits for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and all sorts of other recreational pursuits. Without congressional action, LWCF will expire on September 30 so the time to act is now!”
As of early September 2018, LWCF funding provided more than $108 million in funding that assisted 80 different RMEF land projects that permanently protected more than 152,000 acres of wildlife habitat.
“The Priority Recreational Access program is a key facet of the LWCF program,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “It helps maintain and expand access to our public lands.”
One example of the LWCF Priority Recreational Access program is the Middle Creek project in south-central Colorado. RMEF recently teamed up with the Bureau of Land Management and other partners to permanently protect and conserve a 28-acre property that improved access to 8,500 acres of adjacent public land.
LWCF helps conserve wild and undeveloped places, cultural heritage and benefits fish, wildlife and recreation. Its funding comes from royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. The royalties bring in $900 million annually, most of which is diverted to other federal programs.
RMEF urges sportsmen, women and all other Americans who cherish conservation and our public lands to contact their elected representatives and urge them to renew and fully reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.