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LWCF State Assistance Receives $30 Million for FY2006

Conferees Complete Interior Bill that provides Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars.

From the National Recreation and Park Association

On July 26, 2005, the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Conference Committee reported the FY 2006 Interior Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2361). The Senate's $30 million funding level for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) state assistance program prevailed in an intense stand-off between Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), and House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC).

The President's recommendation to terminate the LWCF state assistance program impacted Congress' decision making from the beginning of the appropriations process, and created a mountain of opposition for parks and recreation advocates to overcome. Chairman Taylor partially embraced the President's proposal to terminate the LWCF state assistance program by allocating $0 funds for the program in the House bill. Parks and recreation advocates battled through multiple efforts— and on multiple fronts— and were able to convince the Senate to provide $30 million for the state matching grant program.

In the last few weeks before the House Senate conference, in order to overcome the elimination of funding in the House bill, NRPA orchestrated a final ground swell of advocacy, specifically targeting all conferees through phone calls. Additionally, in just three days, advocates generated 114 House member signatures on a letter to Chairman Taylor urging him to accept the Senate funding level (View the letter at: The $30 million for LWCF state assistance is a reduction of over 66% from last year's FY 2005 funding level; however, according to the National Park Service, the program will still be able to provide approximately 400 state and local grants to communities.

The agreement also provided:

  • $115 million for federal LWCF land acquisition, a $101 million decrease from FY 2005

  • $1.3 billion for the Superfund Brownfields program, a $13 million increase from FY 2005

  • $8.135 million for Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance partnerships, $200,000 decrease from FY 2005

  • $68 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants a $2 million decrease from FY 2005

For futher information contact:

Michael Phillips, NRPA Public Policy


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