Continued Bi-partisan Support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Matt Leahy | April 26, 2022
Backdrop of evergreen trees at Lost River

Lost River Reservation. (Photo: Kate Wilcox)

New Hampshire’s Members of Congress, Congresswoman Ann Kuster and Congressman Chris Pappas, joined over 160 of their colleagues in signing onto a pro-LWCF letter to the chairwoman and ranking member of Appropriation Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

Nearly 60 years ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of 1964 established America’s most successful conservation and recreation program. The bill was designed to assure that our country’s outdoor heritage, natural infrastructure, and recreation lands would be secured, for future Americans’ requirements.  

Congress voted overwhelmingly in recent years to secure the future of this critical program, and end the diversion of its funds to other, unrelated purposes. The Dingell Act of 2019 made LWCF’s authorization and unique structure permanent, while the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) of 2020 guaranteed full, permanent, dedicated funding.

While passage of GAOA means that LWCF will receive $900M in dedicated funds for Federal FY23 and each year thereafter, Congress still decides how that money is allocated among LWCF subprograms in the annual appropriations process.

It is important to note that the programs under the LWCF umbrella are oversubscribed, and full funding of LWCF has not eliminated the backlog of important conservation efforts. In the FY 22 federal budget, any unobligated LWCF funds from the prior year were retained within appropriated programs rather than being subjected to rescissions.  

The letter asks the Appropriation Subcommittee to continue this practice in FY 23 in order to keep any unobligated fund in place for viable funded projects within the LWCF accounts.

TAKE ACTION: Contact New Hampshire’s representatives and thank them for their continued support of the LWCF.