Funding Land and Water Conservation

Flight 93 Memorial

Land and Water Fund LogoAfter expiring at the end of September 2015, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been reauthorized. There is money in the fund from a portion of the revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling that are deposited each year. The next step is to appropriate money from the fund for the types of projects that are allowed. The president is proposing full funding in his Fiscal Year 2017 budget by adding $475 million of discretionary funding to the $425 million that is mandatory.  He is also pursuing legislation that would make full funding ($900 million) mandatory beginning in 2018.


Don Armeni Park - Seattle

Don Armeni Park – Seattle
The original Land and Water Conservation Fund grant acquired the 5-acre property and a later project developed the park infrastructure, including a boat ramp,
parking and landscaping.

In 2017, the proposed budget would invest $900 million in conservation and recreation projects. These investments would use easements and purchases from willing sellers to address priorities established by local communities and the states. The intent is to conserve public lands in or near national parks, refuges, and forests, including landscapes identified for collaborative, strategic conservation; increase access for hunting and fishing; protect historic battlefields; and provide grants to states for close-to-home recreation and conservation projects on non-federal lands. The program has supported more than 42,000 national, state and local parks and outdoor recreation projects in all 50 states.  The photos illustrate three of those past projects.

Big Savage Tunnel

Big Savage Tunnel, Pennsylvania
Rehabilitating the tunnel made possible the Great Allegheny Passage Trail and its connection to the C&O Canal Towpath Trail.


This year’s budget proposes to expand access to outdoor recreation opportunities in the High Divide in Idaho and Montana and to protect endangered wildlife and watersheds in the headwaters of the Everglades in Florida. Other projects will preserve the wetlands and grasslands popular with hunters and fishermen in North Dakota and South Dakota. In Maryland and Virginia, the budget proposes to protect wildlife habitats as well as significant archaeological sites in American history by enhancing the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, and the Nanjemoy National Resource Management Area. The full list includes 150 projects scattered across the U.S.

The photo at the top of this page shows the Flight 93 National Memorial where, on September 11, 2001, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 died while preventing hijackers from using the aircraft to attack the nation’s capitol.  The Land and Water Conservation Fund helped build the memorial.

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