CPW Wildlife Commission Supports Full Funding of Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund
Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
On June 12, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a resolution voicing support for the secure, long-term and dedicated funding for land and water conservation, wildlife management, parks and outdoor recreation. Full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was subsequently granted on June 17 when the U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422).
The resolution, presented to the CPW Commission by Outgoing Chairwoman Michelle Zimmerman, supported full funding of the LWCF, federal funding to reduce the maintenance backlog on public lands, and respectfully requested the Colorado Congressional Delegation to support federal legislation that achieves these aims. With the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, the LWCF is guaranteed to receive the maximum $900 million annual allotment advocated for in the resolution.
“We applaud the U.S. Senate for passing this historic act which supports Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s mission to conserve wildlife and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “As the resolution highlighted, full and permanent funding of the LWCF is key to helping us manage our state parks and shared wildlife resources so that more people can enjoy the outdoors far into the future.”
Colorado uses LWCF federal funds to increase recreational opportunities for citizens and visitors. Since 1965, CPW has provided over 1,025 LWCF state matching grants totaling more than $61 million to fund local government and state park outdoor investments.
The LWCF program was enacted by Congress in 1965 to create parks and open spaces protect wilderness, wetlands, and refuges preserve wildlife habitat and enhance recreational opportunities. Funds are allocated through both a federal program and a state-managed matching grant program and are derived from offshore oil and gas leasing revenues. While the LWCF program can be funded up to $900 million annually, it has only received maximum funding twice in its history prior to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.