So, this video is pretty inspirational:
What a lot of people don’t know is that much of the funding for the US to conserve these incredible places comes from a pool of money called the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It was established over 50 years ago. It takes money that the government charges oil and gas companies for the right to operate offshore drilling platforms, and turns it into a fund to create national parks, forest, wildlife refuges, and so forth, and to protect them from development along their borders.
Each year, the fund provides about $900 million dollars, but Congress has habitually siphoned off most of the money for other uses, leaving only $100 million or so for land protection.
And now, the Fund has expired. Congress is working to renew it, but some in the House are trying to gut the law and make it even less potent than it was before. You can contact your senators and representative and ask them to fully reauthorize the LWCF.
There’s a lot more information about the LWCF here.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust recently acquired a 690-acre parcel west of Joshua Tree National Park. Known as Quail Wash, the property is slated for restoration work, followed by donation to the Park.
Joshua tree ecosystems are threatened by development, particularly for energy projects. This parcel protects a critical wildlife passage corridor, as well as important habitat for the threatened desert tortoise, whose habitat is rapidly being lost to development.
A great win for conservation! Thanks to the Land Trust Alliance for the story.
Read the San Bernardino Sun article here
” ‘For 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped millions of Americans in every corner of the nation get outdoors and enjoy open spaces in their local communities and in our national parks,’ said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. ‘We are grateful to the many Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill who are fighting to save this program, and we applaud President Obama for reiterating his support.
A clean, healthy environment is an issue that we should be able to agree on. LWCF keeps our outdoors accessible and magical—counting midnight stars, hearing a coyote howl or paddling a quiet river—these are experiences Americans yearn for that we owe our current and future generations.
Americans deserve real conservation leadership which means doing the right thing today so our grandchildren don’t have to suffer from smoggy air, polluted waterways and landscapes devoid of wildlife.’ ”
View the video/take action here