Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) recently asked the Secretary of the Interior to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to its historical 1977 max of $900 million, which, when adjusted for inflation, amounts to $3.2 billion. The funding request came along with the presentation of a report entitled, “Great Outdoors America,” which analyzes recreation trends and recommends action on key conservation issues. In addition to funding the LWCF, which has been under-funded for the last three decades, the report calls for a nationwide system of blueways and water trails to help mobilize communities and improve water quality.
The funding request and conservation action comes at behest of the Outdoor Resources Review Group, which is made up of senators, governors, park commissioners, and environmental leaders. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was receptive to the report, saying conservation efforts should be a “top priority” now because of job creation, health benefits, and climate change.