Land And Water Conservation Fund Expires Next Month

Advocates Said Loss Of Money Could Be Devastating For Nevada

August 16, 2018 - 12:31 pm

CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) - The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports public parks and wildlife refuges nationwide at no cost to taxpayers, will expire on September 30. Public lands advocates said Congress needs to act quickly to reauthorize the fund.

Time is running out to renew the federal fund that has supported conservation and recreation projects across the U-S for more than 50 years and public lands advocates are calling on Congress to act quickly. the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has used revenue from offshore drilling since the 1960's to support national parks, wildlife refuges and historic sites, all at no cost to taxpayers. In Nevada, 102-million L-W-C-F dollars have been invested, according to the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition. Robert Gaudet with the Nevada Wildlife Federation said that money has supported the kinds of outdoor recreation the state is known for.

"The money is used for so many different projects. It goes for municipal parks, baseball fields, other sporting and recreation facilities, in rural communities such as Ely, Winnemucca, Elko, Fallon, Well, Hawthorne and Yerington," said Gaudet.

Gaudet said the impact of losing support for those projects would be devastating for Nevada. The fund will expire September 30th unless Congress acts.

Tracy Stone-Manning is with the National Wildlife Federation. She said Congress needs to not just reauthorize the fund, but make it permanent.

"For the last 50 years, we have been creating these remarkable public places, from urban parks to protecting wildlife habitat, and we have an obligation now to the future, to ensure that this incredible American conservation success story continues," Stone-Manning added.

A bipartisan bill in both the House and Senate are being considered to renew the L-W-C-F, but only 45 days remain until the fund expires.