Waves crashing against the rocky coast of Acadia National Park at sunset, Maine. In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated their 100 year anniversary.
Acadia National Park Waves crashing against the rocky coast of Acadia National Park at sunset, Maine. In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated their 100 year anniversary. © Nick Hall

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Senate Panel Approves Full LWCF Funding

Bill will permanently set funding at $900 million per year.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved legislation today to make mandatory the funding mechanism for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). 

"Fully and permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund keeps a promise to the American people, that this important and effective conservation tool will be available for future generations," said Kameran Onley, director of U.S. government relations at The Nature Conservancy. "For over 50 years, LWCF has protected national parks, preserved watersheds and created new outdoor recreation opportunities for communities ready to experience the outdoors. We are eager to continue this successful program."

The legislation would dedicate $900 million annually in offshore oil and natural gas royalties to LWCF, the full amount the program is permanently authorized to receive by law. This $900 million would automatically go to LWCF, making those funds available for important conservation projects throughout the country instead of being diverted into other accounts.

A large, bipartisan group of senators introduced the legislation in April just weeks after Congress overwhelmingly approved a sweeping public lands bill that permanently reauthorized LWCF. A companion, bipartisan bill in the House passed the House Natural Resources Committee in June.

"The broad, bipartisan support for this bill and today’s vote not only demonstrates the importance and benefit of investing in nature, but also that nature unites us," said Onley. "We urge the full Senate to work together and swiftly approve this legislation."

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.