The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the distribution of $295,582,830 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Included amongst this funding allotment is over $8.8 million in funding for Pennsylvania. Recent changes to the LWCF Manual guide states to work more closely with Tribal Nations and clarify eligibility to ensure all federally recognized Tribes can take part in and support future public outdoor recreation and conservation projects. The funds from this year’s distribution will be available until fiscal year 2025.
“All communities are deserving of local outdoor recreation,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “Through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the National Park Service is proud to help communities and local governments upgrade and create new outdoor spaces that are most beneficial and enriching to their community, so that everyone is able to take part in outdoor recreation close to home.”
Since its inception in 1965, LWCF has funded $5.2 billion to support more than 45,000 projects in every county in the country. At no cost to taxpayers, LWCF which is administered by the National Park Service, supports increased public access to and protection for federal public lands and waters — including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas — and provides matching grants to Tribal, state and local governments to support the acquisition and development of land for public parks and other outdoor recreation sites.
The allocation for each state and territory is determined through a formula set in the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act and is largely population-based. States and territories further allocate these funds to local projects, usually through a competitive process. These investments help support the America the Beautiful initiative by supporting locally led outdoor recreation and conservation projects to protect and enhance our nation’s public lands and waters.
Fiscal Year 2023 Total Apportionments by State/Territory
|New Hampshire||$ 2,741,235|
|New Jersey||$ 7,446,143|
|New Mexico||$ 3,193,100|
|New York||$ 13,292,350|
|North Carolina||$ 7,174,514|
|North Dakota||$ 2,474,380|
|Rhode Island||$ 2,731,759|
|South Carolina||$ 4,614,625|
|South Dakota||$ 2,513,536|
|West Virginia||$ 2,850,529|
|District of Columbia||$ 2,521,551|
|Puerto Rico||$ 3,978,055|
|Virgin Islands||$ 2,161,741|
|American Samoa||$ 2,136,899|
|Northern Marianas||$ 2,136,027|
This post adapted from a release by the U.S. Department of the Interior.