Land and Water Conservation Fund: Wrong Solution for Public Land Management

The federal government owns between 635 million and 640 million acres of land in the entire United States, nearly 30 percent of the country and nearly half of the western U.S. This massive amount of federal ownership has resulted in land mismanagement, stifled opportunities for recreation and resource production, and poor environmental management. Rather than recognizing that federal control is the problem, Congress is pushing to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)—which would enable Washington to acquire even more land. Congress should reject attempts to reauthorize the LWCF. Rather than placing more decisions under Washington’s control, Congress should empower the states and local communities to protect their environments, maximize the value of the land, and create new opportunities for economic development.

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