DOI Secretary Announces $227 Million Distribution for Conservation Projects
Provided by the Arizona Mule Deer Organization
U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt recently announced that over $227 million would be distributed from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) “to all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for specified park and outdoor recreation and conservation projects.” The LWCF, created in 1964, provides funding for land and water conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation projects. The Fund is not tax-funded; rather, it’s funded by royalties collected from offshore oil and gas operations.
The sum, which is a $57 million increase from last year’s distribution, gets divided among “federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans.” Additionally, funds are used for various conservation and recreation maintenance projects across the country.
“This is significant, as the LWCF leverages additional public and private dollars to expand outdoor recreation opportunities for the American people and invest in conservation projects across the country,” said Secretary Bernhardt.
To date, more that $4.4 billion has been distributed to state and local governments, funding more than 440,000 conservation projects. Even more, the U.S. Senate recently introduced the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The Act will ensure that the LWCF will be fully funded at $900 million annually for the first time in the Fund's history, ultimately resulting in larger annual distributions.