April 10, 2013
Arlington, Va. — The Conservation Fund applauds the continued commitment of President Obama to elevate the importance of preserving the outdoors for all Americans to enjoy. The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget takes a step in the right direction to ensure that dedicated funding from oil and gas proceeds are used for conservation and not diverted to other purposes. We urge the U.S. Congress to follow suit by halting the raiding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

America’s natural treasures – the local parks and greenways where our children play, the private farms and forests we nurture, and the federal and state public lands where we recreate – are precious resources that support our national economy and improve our overall quality of life. All of these areas are supported by funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Today, outdoor recreation supports 6.1 million jobs and generates $646 billion annually to the U.S. economy, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. The President’s robust $600 million Land and Water Conservation Fund funding request is a critically important investment to keep this natural infrastructure intact.

The President’s budget also supports many other conservation programs that are vital to federal, state and private efforts to preserve and restore America’s natural resources, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund and the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service’s conservation programs. The budget also proposes to reauthorize the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act, bringing back a successful “land for land” mechanism that allows the proceeds from Bureau of Land Management land sales to fund critical land conservation in the West at BLM conservation areas, national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, national trails, wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers and more.

We strongly support dedicated funding to secure America’s natural infrastructure, which provides unmatched social, cultural, historical and economical value to our nation and our future.  

The Conservation Fund is the only American non-profit with a dual charter for both environmental protection and economic development.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land since 1985.