On April 10th, a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senator Manchin introduced a bill to guarantee permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill, which they are naming the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act would fund this vital program at a level of $900 million.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund has played an important role in keeping West Virginia “wild and wonderful”, and Senator Manchin knows it. In a statement released with the bill, he noted that 54 of West Virginia’s 55 counties have received LWCF funding, and cited many areas that had been supported by LWCF, like the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Gauley River National Recreation Area, and Monongahela National Forest.
Friends of Blackwater is supportive of efforts to provide permanent funding for this vital program, and commend the bill’s sponsors for making conservation a priority. We hope this bill moves forward, and we will share opportunities for the public to get involved and offer their support. In the meantime, if you’d like to read up on LWCF and its role in West Virginia, check out these resources developed by our friends at West Virginians for Public Lands.