2015-05-18 National Governors Association

Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
Chairman
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Maria Cantwell
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Rob Bishop
Chairman
Committee on Natural Resources
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Raul Grijalva
Ranking Member
Committee on Natural Resources
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Murkowski, Ranking Member Cantwell, Chairman Bishop, and Ranking Member Grijalva:

The nation’s governors urge Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) before it expires on September 30. We also urge you to restore the balance in the state/federal allocation to provide long-term certainty and stability for a program that has benefitted every state.

Since its creation in 1965, LWCF has helped catalyze more than $8 billion in capital investments for recreation and conservation needs through a combination of federal funds collected from offshore oil and gas development and matching resources from states. The original LWCF authorization directed 60 percent of total funds to states and 40 percent to federal land acquisition. Only once has Congress fully funded the LWCF. Over time, the state allocation of available funds has steadily diminished.

Today, the appropriated allocation is roughly 80/20 in favor of federal land acquisition. LWCF is a critical tool for the states. Governors urge Congress to honor the original 60/40 allocation to states. States need this funding to meet their conservation and recreation obligations.

We look forward to working with you to reauthorize the program and rebalance the allocations.

Sincerely,

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., California
Chair, Natural Resources Committee

Governor Matthew H. Mead, Wyoming
Vice Chair, Natural Resources Committee

Share via