The Land and Water Conservation Fund is scheduled to sunset on September 30th if it is not reauthorized by Congress. This is a 50-year old program that reinvests a portion of offshore oil and gas royalties for conservation and outdoor recreation projects.
Last week I met up with other Westerns, including fellow Idahoans representing Winter Wildlands Alliance, American Whitewater and Boise Area Mountain Bike Association, in Washington D.C. to advocate for LWCF. The trip was organized by Outdoor Alliance who works to unite voices of outdoor enthusiasts to conserve America’s public lands.
It is always fun and inspiring to connect with great people from all over doing great conservation and outdoor recreation work; however, the meetings with our Idaho delegation were not nearly so upbeat.
In spite of the fact that Idaho has received $234 million LWCF funds and that it has broad bipartisan support due to its substantial conservation and economic contributions (it helps support the $646 billion national outdoor recreation economy and 6.1 million associated jobs) it does not look like it will be reauthorized before the clock runs out.
Congressman Simpson, Senator Crapo, and Senator Risch all signed onto a letter of support for LWCF. We met with them and thanked them for their support, yet simply supporting it doesn’t equate to the catalyst necessary to move it. Congressional inaction will be its demise unless something happens very quickly.
Please contact our delegates and ask them to follow through with their support by requesting House and Senate leadership take action to save this important program. This is too great of a program to lose due to inaction.