Oakland, CA – For the past 54 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided funding for the conservation of natural, historical and cultural resources with no with no dependence on taxpayers. Land and Water Conservation Funds are provided through royalty fees paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas offshore of the United States.
LWCF expired on September 30, 2018. Since its expiration, $100 million has been collected and diverted from these investments – outdoor recreation and natural resource protection.
The East Bay Regional Park District supports full, permanent reinstatement of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“The Park District has received $16 million since the Land and Water Conservation Fund was established for numerous park and open space projects in the East Bay,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “We call on the Senate and Congress to act now and reinstate the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanently with full funding.
Land and Water Conservation Fund projects include increased public access at Bay Point Regional Shoreline, increased public access Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, new park lands at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, trail enhancement at Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, improvement of the Skyline National Recreation Trail at Redwood Regional Park, campground improvements at Anthony Chabot Regional Park, safe water access for visitors at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area, visitor center enhancements at Del Valle Regional Park picnic, and visitor improvements at Temescal Regional Recreation Area.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established in 1964 through a bi-partisan effort to invest in outdoor recreation and natural resource protection. Since its inception, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided more than $16.7 billion in grant funding to state and local governments. It has provided $900 million annually through its grant program.
“To lose this great bi-partisan conservation effort that requires no taxpayer dollars would be one of the greatest conservation tragedies of our lifetime,” said Doyle. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund is an essential funding source for outdoor recreation and natural resources protection, including parks, open space, trails, shorelines.”
“National, state, regional and local parks are experiencing unprecedented growth in popularity while at the same time facing aging and deteriorating infrastructure where more funding is needed, not less,” added Doyle.
The Park District is the largest park district in the nation with 73 Regional Parks and over 121,000 acres of open space, including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and nature learning. The East Bay Regional Park District receives 25 million visits annually – more than the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks and San Jose Earthquakes combined!
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of the best examples of national bi-partisanship. Congress needs to act now to ensure this historical landmark deal continues to provide benefits for generations to come. The East Bay Regional Park District urges full reinstatement of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.