Oregon will receive $657,659 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund this year
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today announced that Oregon will receive more than $650,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for outdoor recreation and conservation projects. The funding is part of $43.38 million that will be distributed nationwide this year. Oregon's allotment brings the state's all-time total from the Fund to more than $55 million.
"The Land and Water Conservation Fund has directly supported projects that improve Oregonians' quality of life," said Governor Kitzhaber. "Urban parks, natural areas, ball fields, and trails give Oregonians the chance to explore their state while improving the health and vitality of our cities and towns. This funding is critical to protecting natural areas and supporting locally-driven projects that improve livability."
This morning, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell praised the Fund as one of the nation’s most effective tools for creating and protecting urban parks and natural areas. Today in Welches, Neil Kornze, Director of the Bureau of Land Management, will celebrate the Fund’s 50th anniversary at the Sandy Ridge mountain bike trail system near the Sandy River. The trail system was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation by providing money to federal, state, and local governments to purchase land, water, and wetlands. Over the past 50 years, Oregon has used the funding to create a full range of outdoor recreation, from public plazas like Pioneer Square in downtown Portland to full-service state parks like Stub Stewart in Washington County.
"Oregon has blossomed under 50 years of investment from the Land and Water Conservation Fund," says Lisa Van Laanen, Director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. "Thousands of projects - large and small, state and city and county - have improved access to public recreation in every region of Oregon."
The Fund’s primary source of revenue comes from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. The amount allocated to each state is determined by a formula established in the original legislation. The fund in turn boosts local economies by supporting jobs in the outdoor recreation and tourism industries. A recent analysis of the Fund found that every $1 invested in land acquisition generated a $4 return on the investment for communities.
For more information about the Land and Water Conservation Fund, please visit www.nps.gov/lwcf.