The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important conservation program, yet without action from Congress, it will expire on September 30, 2018.
For over fifty years, the LWCF has provided vital funding to protect irreplaceable lands, and create access to outdoor recreation opportunities in nearly every state, including Montana, Idaho and Washington.
As one America’s newest National Scenic Trails, the Pacific Northwest Trail could also benefit
from permanent protection through Land and Water Conservation Fund investment.
Programs to enhance the National Trails System have also been supported through the Fund. Over the last 15 years, approximately $25 million from the LWCF has been used to acquire and permanently protect more than 18,000 acres along the Pacific Crest Trail. The Fund has helped to ensure access for PCT users, and to facilitate a world-class long-distance hiking experience by increasing the amount of trail on public land.
As one America’s newest National Scenic Trails, the Pacific Northwest Trail could also benefit from permanent protection through LWCF investment. While 80% of the trail corridor falls on public lands, remaining areas include a significant amount of private property.
Where the PNT crosses land in private ownership, access is currently provided through voluntary agreements which may be revoked at any time. Voluntary sales of private land funded through LWCF could help ensure access to non-motorized routes and reduce the amount of trail which currently follows public roads and highways.
Take action today. Sign on to our partner’s letter at the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition. If Congress allows the program to expire this September, it could forestall efforts to create parks, connected pathways and other important programs.