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Help Save the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Posted by Francakes at Nov 25, 2015 12:45 PM |

One of the nation's key programs protecting trail experiences expired earlier this year, but you have the power to pull it out of limbo.

The view on the PCT section between Crystal Mountain and Chinook Pass. LWCF has protected hundreds of acres of land along the PCT. Photo by j brink.

One of the nation's key programs—the Land and Water Conservation Fund—protecting trail experiences expired earlier this year, but you have the power to help give it new life by taking action today.

How LWCF ended up in limbo

On Sept. 30, Congress allowed the Land and Water Conservation Fund to sunset, putting proposed projects into limbo. For the past 50 years, LWCF has been used to permanently protect land threatened with development by working with willing seller private landowners to add land to national, state and local parks, trails and other public lands.

Outdoors enthusiasts are running out of opportunities to restore this critical program. We need hikers to tell our leaders that the outdoors are a priority for voters as Congress finishes its work for the year.

Contact Congress, and tell them why trails and the LWCF matter

LWCF has helped preserved Washington's wild character for 50 years, greatly benefiting hikers, bikers, equestrians and many other trail users. The program has done everything from purchasing land to allow for unsafe sections of the Pacific Crest Trail to be re-routed, protected scenic vistas that so many hikers seek when they go out on trail, funded urban parks and more.

The iconic PCT has been a major beneficiary of the program as well. More than 9,000 acres along Washington's 500-mile stretch of Pacific Crest Trail are currently privately owned, meaning access is not guaranteed forever. That total acreage was once much higher, but has been greatly reduced thanks to LWCF funding. This program could continue to be part of the solution, but Congress needs to hear from hikers like you now, before the holiday weekend.

The program's best chance for reauthorization is now. Members of Congress are negotiating the final details of the nation's budget and preparing to vote on last minute bills before the year ends.

Tell your elected officials that you want to see LWCF restored without any harmful changes.

After you email Congress, you can also tweet to show your support. Consider using one of the following samples:

  • Reauthorization for #LWCF is on hikers' holiday wish list!  #saveLWCF http://bit.ly/1lIsWfa
  • Thank you @SenatorCantwell for your bipartisan work w/ @SenatorMurkowski to save #LWCF http://bit.ly/1lIsWfa
  • Thank you for speaking up to #saveLWCF for all Washingtonians @davereichert http://bit.ly/1lIsWfa
  • We need to #saveLWCF to preserve trail experiences for the next generation. Hikers need #LWCF! http://bit.ly/1lIsWfa

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