Tell Congress to support critical conservation funding!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. As Congress crafts the federal budget, let them know that funding for wilderness and conservation programs is critical to protect our lands, water and wildlife, support local communities and strengthen our national economy.

Many essential conservation programs and agencies have faced repeated budget cuts for several years. It’s time for Congress to once again prioritize funding for these important programs.

Examples of critical programs that have faced cuts in recent years include:

The Land and Water Conservation Fund: Also in its 50th year, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities for all Americans. The LWCF is the product of a simple yet effective idea: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource--offshore oil and gas--to support the conservation of another--our land and water.

The Legacy Roads and Trails Program: Legacy Roads and Trails (LRT) is the cornerstone of watershed remediation in our national forests. This program was specifically created to address the extensive environmental damage resulting from the massive Forest Service road and trail network. There are 150,000 more miles of road in our forests than there are miles between the earth and moon, and LRT has already had major successes in its first five years restoring fish passage, addressing river and stream sedimentation problems, decommissioning thousands of miles of roads and reducing Forest Service maintenance costs by $3 million per year.

National Landscape Conservation System: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has set aside 27 million acres as part of the National Conservation Lands, specifically dedicated to conserve, protect and restore natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. Though representing only 10 percent of BLM lands, they receive over one-third of visitors to BLM lands and sustain or create 20,000 jobs annually. National Conservation Lands support local economies, protect unrivaled landscapes and provide access to world class outdoor recreation opportunities.           

Wildfire protection and prevention: Inadequate funding to combat fire is one of the major problems impacting the entire Forest Service budget. As we continue to experience longer and more severe fire seasons the agency has had to repeatedly siphon funds away from other critical programs to fight wildfires. This is undermining vital initiatives specifically aimed at decreasing future wildfire risks and costs, which is exacerbating and prolonging the damage not only to the Forest Service budget, but to our national forests themselves.

Renewable Energy: One of the critical pieces of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is the doubling of renewable energy development on public lands. This requires substantial funding for important research, environmental assessments and wildlife habitat planning, to ensure that this expansion of clean renewable energy is done responsibly, efficiently and “smart from the start.” 

Send this message to:

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

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Dear Member of Congress,

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]