That pot contains more than $295.5 million. The federal government has also released guidance this year pushing states to use the money to work with native tribes as well as create parks in underserved communities.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund helps further President (Joe) Biden’s commitment to investing in America’s lands and waters, expanding access to the outdoors, and safeguarding the environment,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “These grants, matched primarily by state and local governments, will inspire collaborative conservation and (improve) equitable access to the outdoors for all.”
The LWCF is funded by royalties from companies drilling for oil and gas. That money is then redirected to help ensure the nation’s parks, refuges and natural ecosystems are protected.
The Biden administration is requiring states to agree to work with tribes to ensure they are able to secure their share of funding. Tribes have previously had access to a share of the money, but Biden officials want to emphasize that availability and ensure underserved communities also get access.
“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.”
This most recent funding is available until 2025. After going into effect in 1965, the LWCF — administered by the National Park Service — has provided more than $5.2 billion to increase public access to the nation’s parks and allow local governments to purchase land to create or expand recreational areas.