Protecting Lands and Giving Back to Communities
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by Congress in 1964 to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to safeguard our natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. Using zero taxpayer dollars, the LWCF invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to help strengthen communities, preserve our history and protect our national endowment of lands and waters. The LWCF program is divided into the "State Side" which provides grants to State and local governments, and the "Federal Side" which is used to acquire lands, waters, and interests therein necessary to achieve the natural, cultural, wildlife, and recreation management objectives of federal land management agencies.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was permanently reauthorized in the Dingell Act of March 2019 and in August 2020 the Great American Outdoors Act fully and permanently funded the program.
Banner photo: NPS/Jacob Holgerson