Senate Moves to Give LWCF More Money


More money for the Land and Water Conservation Fund – that is what an amendment added to the Transportation Bill by the U.S. Senate last Friday will do.  This amendment, called the “Restore Act,” will provide billions of dollars of the Gulf Oil Spill penalty money to the Gulf States but, according to the American Land Rights Association, it’ll also add billions of dollars to the land and water conservation fund.

What is that fund?  Often referred to by the acronym “LWCF,” the fund is a government program that, according to its government website, “provides matching grants to States and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities (as well as funding for shared federal land acquisition and conservation strategies).”

The American Land Rights Association says this amendment will double funding for the LWCF for the next two years adding roughly $700 million for each year.  They report that currently the program allows up to $900 million in offshore oil and gas revenues to be spent annually on land acquisitions, conservation easements and grants to states to promote urban parks.

Looking through the senators from our region, Montana and North Dakota’s senators voted in favor of the amendment to give money to the Gulf States and the LWCF.  South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson was also in support of the amendment while Senator John Thune did not vote.  Both Wyoming senators were against it.

The Senate is expected to vote on the full Transportation Bill this week.  The American Land Rights Association says the Restore Act has already passed the House. So, they add, if the House votes on the Senate bill there may be no conference committee.


© Northern Ag Network 2012

With Information from the American Land Rights Association

Haylie Shipp


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