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Far-Reaching Conservation Program Receives Full Funding from Congress

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Thursday, March 24, 2022   

An important conservation program has received its full funding in Congress' latest budget.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund will be able to allocate $900 million to projects across the country to ensure access to public lands as well as for local projects. It's the first time the program has received its full dedicated funding since the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020 saved it and ensured permanent funding.

Amy Lindholm, manager of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition for the Appalachian Mountain Club, explained the reach and scope of the financial backing of Congress.

"Every part of the country, every state, every congressional district, nearly every county in America has been touched by investment from the Land and Water Conservation Fund," Lindholm pointed out. "It protects everything from your local parks and playgrounds to working forests to habitat projects."

The program has been around for more than 50 years, allocating more than $700 million to Washington state over that time. It has helped protect places such as Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks, the Pacific Crest Trail and Skagit Wild and Scenic River.

Lindholm noted the $900 million is a great accomplishment and start to more conservation.

"We also see on the ground in Washington that there are projects that are still not able to be funded, and they are urgently needed for a variety of reasons," Lindholm emphasized. "Given the climate crisis that we're experiencing, they are more important than ever."

Some projects on the program's supplemental list in Washington include the Kittitas Working Forest, San Juan Island National Historical Park and work in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.


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