Five Reasons to Sunset the Land and Water Conservation Fund

A major point of contention with energy legislation in conference between the House of Representatives and the Senate is a Senate measure to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF enjoys broad bipartisan popularity helped along by its use of images with scenic parks and wildlife. However, there are good reasons why a permanent re-authorization is a mistake. Although many Members of Congress support the LWCF because their constituents associate it with funding for their local parks, the LWCF is in reality a program that expands federal control of America’s land and water resources.

Rather than focus on the LWCF, Congress should commit to good land management and environmental stewardship by freezing federal land acquisition altogether, addressing massive maintenance backlogs in the most important national parks, and allowing states, local communities, nonprofit organizations, and private individuals to drive decisions about parkland in America.

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