PLNR-99-3-Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

WHEREAS In 1964, Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund to assure that all Americans have access to high-quality recreation resources, to enhance the health and vitality of the Nation, and to preserve valuable habitat; and

WHEREAS Investments from the fund support the creation of public parks, efficient management of forests, preservation of clean water and open spaces and guarantee outdoor recreational opportunities and other social and environmental objectives for the Nation and

WHEREAS Since its creation, LWCF has been responsible for the acquisition of nearly seven million acres of parks, public forests, and open space including the development of more than 37,000 state and local resource conservation and recreation projects, including playgrounds, ball fields, national historical sites, scenic trails, and nature reserves; and

WHEREAS Western Colorado has benefited significantly from LWCF‑funded projects over the years such as the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument funding needs, Sylvan Lake State Park in Eagle County, Fruita Park in the City of Fruita and hundreds of other projects; and

WHEREAS The LWCF Act is authorized to invest annually in recreational resources, principally from public revenue received from outer continental shelf (OCS) oil and gas exploration revenues, and that the Congress must annually appropriate funds from the LWCF account; and

WHEREAS The Congress envisioned and encouraged, and the Act authorizes federal-state-local partnerships to create a national network of public parks and other recreation resources accessible to all people; and

WHEREAS For several years the federal program has been underfunded and no allocations have been made to fund the stateside grants program, though the enabling legislation provided for such allocations and encouraged Congress to provide federal acquisition of certain lands and “close to home” sites and recreational opportunities; and

WHEREAS Without Congressional allocations for stateside programs, states are severely limited in their capacity to develop parks and open spaces or provide funds to local jurisdictions for the creation of neighborhood recreational facilities; and

WHEREAS Colorado continues to experience such acute growth pressures to provide adequate open space, outdoor recreation opportunities and wildlife habitat and educational opportunities to its citizens and visitors; and

WHEREAS Colorado could effectively leverage new federal LWCF funding with state and local dollars to help protect the natural character of our state that we all love,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 strongly supports Congressional action to consistently and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, provided the State work with local communities to prioritize and fund projects without strict federal oversight or competitive granting. We also support the recommendations of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources for Congressional legislation that will allocate additional OCS funds for state-level wildlife programs, endangered species recovery and funding to states for open space and farmland protection, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CLUB 20 Board of Directors encourages Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources, the United States Department of Interior, and other state/federal agencies to identify that LWCF funds are derived from the energy industry, and

ALSO, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that LWCF funds directed towards the State of Colorado be passed through the Governor’s Office for budget review of Colorado’s priority projects, for the purpose of balanced acquisitions, conservation easements, conservation leases, and purchase of development rights, as well as funding for operations and maintenance projects.

Adopted 9/10/1999

Amended 3/22/2013

(Formerly 99-9 NR 1)