Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has partnered with 51 conservation groups to release Conserving Americas Landscapes, a new report highlighting the successes of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and stressing the need for full federal funding of these programs. The report coincides with a Capitol Hill briefing and tele-press conference in Washington, D.C.
The report contains detailed explanations of the state assistance and federal land acquisition programs of LWCF, as well as the Forest Legacy Program, and offers successful examples of all three. It also explains how funds are continually diverted from their original intent and are allocated into other programs, leaving initiatives for close-to-home recreation under-funded. In addition, the report recommends the new administration restore full funding to the program, which has happened only once in its 44-year history.
“In recent years we have witnessed the severe decline in funding for these programs” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of Outdoor Industry Association. “These programs are tremendously important not only to healthy communities, but as a way to create jobs.”
According to a recent study by The Outdoor Foundation, three of every four Americans are active in outdoor recreation. This activity contributes nearly $730 billion to the U.S. economy in terms of manufacturing, tourism, sales, and tax revenue.