[Fwd: Land & Water Conservation Fund]

Bob Harsell (riverboy@injersey.com)
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:58:05 -0500


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Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 21:03:25 +0000
Subject: Land & Water Conservation Fund
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==============================
Land & Water Conservation Fund
==============================

We focused on the Land & Water Conservation Fund in the February issue of
the Sierra Activist. Following is an update...

Congressmen Mica (R-FL) and Farr (D-CA) are circulating a "Dear Colleague"
letter to help get more money for land acquisition from the Land and Water
Conservation Fund.

I will be contacting the NJ Congressional delegation, asking them to sign
on to this letter.

I need your help. I need YOU to add your voice to mine by calling/faxing/
e-mailing your Representative, and asking them to sign this letter.

The deadline for this letter is April 8, 1997.

Remember, NJ received $0 from the stateside program last year. Unless we act,
that's what we'll get this year. Nothing.

Here's the letter_

*******************************
Mica-Farr Dear Colleague Letter
*******************************

The Honorable Ralph Regula
Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations
B 308 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Sidney R. Yates
Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations
1016 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Regula and Mr. Yates,

We are writing today to urge your support for the earmarking of
land acquisition funds in the FY 1998 Interior and Related Agencies
Appropriations Bill. We thank you, too, for your support for the many
Q>ojects you funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
in the FY 1997 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill.

We appreciate the success that your subcommittee has achieved
over the years in funding important land acquisition projects through
the LWCF. Your efforts have helped ensure the conservation of millions
of acres of environmentally sensitive lands throughout our nation. The
preservation of these natural resources will provide our constituents
and future generations enormous benefits which include the protection
of wildlife habitat and the expansion of outdoor recreational
activities. We know that your work demands difficult choices and that
you have always given conservation needs the highest consideration.

It is our view that the traditional process of earmarking
projects in the Interior Appropriations bill is the best means of
achieving land conservation goals we all share. It is critical that
specific decisions on land acquisition be included in the conference
report which is approved by Congress rather than through an ambiguous
and bureaucratic decision-making process which may take place after
Congress has adjourned.

We strongly urge you to support the earmarking of land
acquisition funds in the Interior Appropriations Bill. We are
confident that, working together under your leadership, we can continue
preserving natural resource lands for generations.

Sincerely,

Sam Farr
Member of Congress

John Mica
Member of Congress

*Your House Member as well!*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fact Sheet on LWCF

THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND

A Simple Idea

In 1965, Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund to
preserve habitat and assure that all Americans have access to quality
outdoor recreation to strengthen the health and vitality of the
citizens of the United States. It was a simple idea: "pay as you go"
program using revenues from resource use to support the creation of
parks, forests, clean water, and open spaces and to guarantee outdoor
opportunities and a clean environment for all Americans.

How LWCF Actually Works

The Land and Water Conservation Fund receives $900 million each year,
primarily from fees paid by companies drilling off-shore for oil and
gas. Congress intended for this money to be used in two ways.

1. Fund federal purchase of land and water areas for recreation and
conservation and development of recreational resources open to
all Americans.

2. Provide federal funds to states to assist in planning,
acquisition, and development of needed land and water areas and
recreation facilities.

At least 40 percent of LWCF dollars must be used for the federal
purchases in a given year.

Federal Program

Moneys appropriated from the fund for federal purposes are used for the
following:

* Public acquisition of land and water by the National Parks System,
or are authorized by the Secretary of the Interior for outdoor
recreation purposes;

* Public purchase of private holdings within national forests and
wilderness areas;

* Public acquisition of areas for the preservation of species of
fish or wildlife that are threatened with extinction;

* Other acquisitions as authorized by law. (e.g. In 1996, Congress
authorized and appropriated $9 million to the Palisades Interstate
Park Commission for the public purchase of Sterling Forest.)

State Program

Roughly 40 percent of funds for the state program are divided equally
among the states. The National Park Service then takes into account
other factors in distributing the rest of the state-side money,
including total population of the state and total population of the
state living in urban areas.

State-side LWCF funds can generally be used to acquire land, build or
repair recreation or park facilities, provide riding and hiking trails,
enhance recreational access, and provide wildlife and hunting areas.
The LWCF state grant program matches up to 50 percent of the cost of
the project, with the balance of project funds paid by states or
localities. Fund recipients are limited to state agencies and
municipalities.

An Investment With Results

The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been an investment with
results that touch all Americans. In the 30 years since its creation,
LWCF has been responsible for the acquisition of nearly seven million
acres of parkland and open space and the development of more than
37,000 parks and recreation projects. From playgrounds and ball fields
to national historical sites, scenic trails, and nature reserves, LWCF
has been the key to providing places for all Americans to recreate,
relax, and get outdoors.

A Broken Promise

Congress has broken its promise with the American people by misusing
the Land and Water Conservation Fund. LWCF receives $900 million each
year, and every year, as much as 85 percent of the Fund is diverted for
purposes other than conservation and recreation. In fact, since
Congress originally made its commitment to conserve the American
outdoors in 1964, it has diverted $11 billion of LWCF to other uses.
In recent years, Congress has not funded the state program at all.
Every year, we lose countless opportunities to conserve precious
resources and open space for all Americans to enjoy.

**What You Can Do

Contact your Representative. Ask them to sign the Mica/Farr
"Dear Colleague" letter. Ask them to work toward full funding
of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to renew their commitment
to investing in America's natural heritage and providing recreation
opportunities for all Americans.

*********************************************
*Call Congress Toll Free! 800-972-3524
*********************************************

Contact Info...

Robert Franks (R)

E-Mail: FRANKSNJ@HR.HOUSE.GOV

Rodney Frelinghuysen (R)

E-Mail: NJELEVEN@HR.HOUSE.GOV

Frank LoBiondo (R)

E-Mail: LOBIONDO@HR.HOUSE.GOV

Michael Pappas (R)

Fax: 202-225-6025

Marge Roukema (R)

Fax 202-225-9048

James Saxton (R)

Fax: 202-225-0778

Chris Smith (R)

Fax: 202-225-7768

Robert Andrews (D)

E-Mail: RANDREWS@HR.HOUSE.GOV

Robert Menendez (D)

Fax 202-226-0792

Frank Pallone (D)

Fax: 202-225-9665

William Pascrell, Jr. (D)

Fax: 202-225-5782

Donald Payne (D)

Fax: 202-225-4160

Steve Rothman (D)

Fax: 202-225-5061