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Inside publicizes plans to strengthen the land and water safety fund

Posted by Jeff on Feb 12, 2021 08:24 AM in Conservation | 0 comments | Last change: February 11, 2021

The U.S. Department of the Interior has taken steps to bolster the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by repealing the Trump administration guidelines that have significantly undermined the landmark protection program. Secretariat Ordinance 3396 repeals an ordinance signed November 9, 2020 (Secretariat Ordinance 3388) that unilaterally imposes new restrictions to prevent the availability of LWCF funding for federal land and water acquisitions.

“The Land and Water Fund has been critical to protecting public spaces, preserving wildlife habitats and improving access to outdoor recreation. Today’s Interior action confirms our support for one of America’s most successful and popular conservation programs, ”said Shannon A. Estenoz, assistant senior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks. “We look forward to further strengthening this successful program to ensure that all communities – from hikers and athletes to urban and underserved communities – have access to the outdoors and the great outdoors.”

In addition to repealing the Bernhardt Policy of November 2020, Secretariat Ordinance 3396 instructs the National Park Service to revise the Land and Water Fund Support Manual to remove the restrictive guidelines implemented in the previous ordinance and replace the already existing implementation of the LWCF State Restore Aid Program and ORLP (Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership) program. The ORLP program is the only competitive LWCF grant program that addresses the recovery gap in underserved urban areas.

Since its inception in 1965, the LWCF has funded $ 4 billion in projects in every county in the country. Last year, Congress permanently funded the LWCF with $ 900 million a year with broad support from both parties. The LWCF supports taxpayers free of charge and supports improved public access to and protection of federal states and bodies of water – including national parks, forests, wildlife sanctuaries and recreation areas – and grants state and tribal governments appropriate grants for the acquisition and development of public parks and others Outdoor recreation areas.

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