Letters to the Editor

Fully-fund Land and Water Conservation fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), created by Congress 45 years ago to protect parks, forests, rivers and open space, has been chronically underfunded since its creation. In July the House approved fully funding LWCF in its energy reform bill. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to give this visionary program its due.

LWCF – funded by offshore oil and gas revenues – has paid dividends across Washington. In Bellevue, LWCF grants have helped Chism Park, Mercer Slough Ecological Preserve, Newcastle Beach Park and others.

Full funding would ensure $900 million annually for protecting parks and open space in Washington and across the country.

Though he ultimately voted against the energy bill which included fully funding LWCF, Rep. Dave Reichert has expressed his support for the LWCF program. We thank him for that support and hope he will vote for full funding should it again come up for a vote.

Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have strong track records supporting LWCF projects in Washington. We urge them to work with Senate leadership to enact full funding of LWCF during this Congress. LWCF is too important to leave underfunded.

Tom Reeve, Board President, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition Washington Board Chair, The Trust for Public Land

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