America’s Great Outdoors Report: Fully Fund LWCF
Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley and conservation leaders from around the nation attended a White House event yesterday announcing the release of the much-anticipated America’s Great Outdoors Report. The America’s Great Outdoors, or AGO Initiative, was launched in April 2010 to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to the outdoors.
Administration officials spent last summer collecting public input at 51 listening sessions held around the country, including a session held in Concord last August focused on private lands. The report released yesterday synthesizes these public comments and makes recommendations on how to move the America’s Great Outdoors initiative forward.
A central recommendation of the report is fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Established in 1965, the LWCF is authorized to receive $900 million per year from offshore oil leasing revenue to fund the conservation of land and water resources. The President’s FY12 budget released earlier this week makes good on this recommendation, fully funding LWCF for only the secondtime in its 46-year history.
Full LWCF funding is far from assured, however. The same day that the President Obama announced the AGO report, the U.S. House debated a stopgap funding bill that would slash the LWCF funding programs 90% to just $59 million in the current federal fiscal year.
Watch President Obama’s Speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/02/16/president-obama-americas-great-outdoors-initiative
Read the AGO Report here:http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/documents/upload/AGO-Report-With-All-Appendices-3-1-11.pdf