The Land and Water Conservation Fund urgently needs your support to ensure strong and consistent funding for the next Continuing Resolution (CR’s)- being negotiated this week and up until April 8th. The LWCF has been severely cut in the previous short term spending bill, and we need to make a stand against any further funding cuts. Please ensure our voice is heard throughout Congress that LWCF is a vital conservation program and must maintain its funding. These severe cuts could represent historically low funding levels which will leave our lands and waters unprotected while hurting public health and water quality while cutting jobs.
Urge your members to push back against these drastic cuts!
Continue to reach out to our members and supporters of LWCF to ensure strong and consistent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Below is an explanation of the LWCF cuts in the 3-week CR that we are currently operating under . Please use the attached talking points and CR Target List for both House and Senate and Threatened Project Lists when reaching out to members. We need a consistent message into House and Senate leadership and the White House to protect this vital conservation program.
Negotiations are ongoing to finish the FY 11 budget and NOW is the time for our voices to be heard!
3-Week CR Explanation -- LWCF
The series of CRs that have kept the government in operation since Oct 1, 2010, have all been based on FY 10 enacted levels of funding. The last two CRs have assumed some additional budget cuts beyond the FY 10 levels - first $4 billion and now $6 billion. Unfortunately, this latest CR that runs until April 8 includes specific cuts to the level of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These cuts were achieved by reducing FY 10 enacted levels by the amount of funding that was earmarked. And because the federal LWCF acquisition accounts were increased in FY 10 to include unbudgeted willing-seller projects that could not wait, the reductions to LWCF in this April 8 CR are especially hard on them. The grants programs, like Forest Legacy and stateside LWCF, are not cut below FY 10 levels at all.
Overall, LWCF is funded at about $377 million (a 16.3% cut from FY 10) in this 3-week CR. Ten years ago, in FY 2002, LWCF was funded at a $573 million level and has fluctuated since then. As a reminder, the House-passed year-long CR (HR 1) reduces LWCF to $58 million.
The Project Cut List (attached) have already been cut through the previous CR and many more projects are also being threatened.
TALKING POINTS: LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND AT RISK – NO MORE CUTS!!!!
Congress just passed another short term extension of the Continuing Resolution (H.J.Res. 48) that runs until April 8. This bill included $6 billion of additional cuts to federal programs, including cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
This new short-term CR cuts LWCF 16% from FY 10 enacted levels and almost 36% from the President’s FY 2011 budget proposal. These funding cuts will have an immediate impact on sportsmen’s and active outdoor recreation access to public lands, working ranches and forests, local parks and trails, wildlife habitat protection, Civil War battlefield protection and myriad other special places that benefit local communities. We do not believe these reductions can be reversed – the goal now is to make sure that we do not suffer even more drastic and devastating cuts!
Between now and April 8, it is expected that more urgent negotiations will occur to resolve the budget impasse, with additional cuts to existing programs under consideration. Congress is now on a one-week recess, so many representatives and senators will be home for the next 10 days. Now is a crucial time to make your message be heard: NO MORE CUTS TO LWCF!
The Wilderness Society
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Washington, DC 20036
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