The Land and Water Conservation Fund (“LWCF”) expired on September 30, 2018. Compromise legislation has been proposed that would make the LWCF permanent. This compromise is better than losing the LWCF entirely. However, LWCF would receive no guaranteed funding to continue conserving critical natural and recreational resources. Instead, a new parks maintenance program would receive guaranteed funding from the same funding source (oil and gas royalties) that pays for the LWCF. We can do better.
We believe that maintenance of our National Park System should not depend on oil and gas royalties. Adequate maintenance funding should be included in the Federal budget, as is funding for other parts of our nation’s infrastructure. Please ask your elected Members of Congress to support permanent authorization AND full funding for the LWCF.
More than $213 million has come to Illinois through the LWCF, including $33 million spent in Cook County alone. Starved Rock State Park, the Illinois Prairie Path, Deer Grove East Forest Preserve, Volo Bog, Chain’O’Lakes State Park, the I&M Canal trail system, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Illinois Beach State Park, Kennicott Grove, and park districts from Chicago to Highland Park to Naperville have all received funding to improve how we experience the outdoors.