NPCA urges Congress to renew and fully fund one of our nation's most important conservation tools protecting public lands from incompatible development.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is an important source of public financing. Congress specifically established this trust fund in 1965 to protect some of America’s most vulnerable public lands. This program has become one of our country’s most important tools for preserving the integrity of our national parks.

When national park sites are designated, private landowners sometimes still hold parcels inside their borders. If these private landowners eventually want to sell their property, the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides a small portion of federal income from offshore drilling royalties to allow land agencies like the National Park Service to buy these lands from willing sellers, under the belief that if you take something from the public, something should also be returned. Without this funding, these lands can be sold for incompatible development projects such as trophy homes, mini-marts and even mining operations.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect the integrity of countless areas within America’s National Park System. For example, it prevented the building of sub-developments and a golf course in Golden Gate Recreational Area. It protected core battlefield areas in River Raisin National Battlefield Park. And it allowed for the successful protection of the new Flight 93 National Memorial. Recently, the program helped protect areas within Grand Teton National Park.

However, Congress must continue to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund to keep this important source of financing available for the National Park Service and other land management agencies. Although the program is authorized to receive $900 million annually, it has only received that amount only once. As a result, over more than five decades, Congress has diverted more than $20 billion in revenue to other purposes.

NPCA strongly urges Congress to renew and fully fund this important program, keeping some of America’s most irreplaceable lands safe from development and incompatible use.

This popular program doesn’t just protect these special places. It also allows for public access and enjoyment … and that helps bolster the recreational and tourism economy, creating four dollars in economic value for every one dollar invested. It’s an effective tool that has been protecting parks for more than 50 years.

Effort-to-date

  • 12,700 Wrote Congress to Support LWCF

    Sep 2015

    Park advocates contacted their members of Congress and urged them to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

  • More Than 100 Contact Congress for LWCF

    Oct 2015

    NPCA supporters contacted members of Congress and urged them to reauthorize and reinvest in the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

  • 16,300 Wrote Congress in Support of LWCF

    Apr 2018

    Park advocates nationwide urged their members of Congress to co-sponsor legislation that fully funds and permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

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