WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke announced a $1.1 million distribution from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to New Mexico for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects.
This is part of a $100 million distribution from the LWCF to all 50 States, the Territories, and the District of Columbia. LWCF funds are non-taxpayer dollars derived from Outer Continental Shelf lease revenues and are awarded through federal matching grants administered by the National Park Service.
Secretary Zinke said, “The LWCF State and Local Assistance Program leverages public and private investment in America’s State and local parks and exemplifies my priorities to improve and expand outdoor recreation and access, and bolster state and local community recreation, tourism, and economic goals. I support permanent reauthorization of LWCF and am hopeful that Congress will pass this important bill before the deadline.”
Secretary Zinke made the announcement at Acadiana Park in Lafayette, Louisiana. “In the last 53 years,” Zinke said, “the Land and Water Conservation Fund and its State and Local Assistance Program has provided over $4.2 billion to help states protect special places and bring outdoor recreation opportunities to local communities across the country.”
The $100 million in LWCF funding distributed today was supplemented by the June distribution of $61.6 million in revenues to states from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. “Together these funds create major positive impacts for millions of Americans who have nearby opportunities for recreation in new and improved community parks and recreation areas,” Secretary Zinke said.
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1965 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations. The LWCF invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to permanently conserve outdoor recreation areas for public use and enjoyment. The funds enable state and local governments to improve park and other recreation areas in their communities by rehabilitating and upgrading existing parks, creating brand new parks in places that have none, and developing and expanding trail systems that link communities to each other and to additional outdoor recreation opportunities.
Since the inception of the LWCF, over $4.2 billion from responsible offshore oil and gas development has been made available to state and local governments to fund more than 43,000 conservation projects throughout the nation. The allocation for the State and Local Assistance Program is determined by a formula set in the LWCF Act.