Removing Harmful Restrictions from America’s Most Successful Conservation Program

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Wildlife Federation applauded the Biden administration for removing restrictions placed on the Land and Water Conservation Fund by the previous administration and allowing this important conservation program to function as intended by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress. 

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been one of the most important and successful programs in conserving and restoring the parks, trails, playgrounds, and outdoor spaces essential to our shared outdoor heritage. This common-sense change will ensure the program continues working for people and wildlife alike — as Congress designed it,” said David Willms, senior director of Western wildlife and conservation at the National Wildlife Federation.  

In the final weeks of the Trump administration, former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt made an end-run around Congress and issued a Secretarial Order which imposed unnecessary, top-down requirements and restrictions governing the deployment of Land and Water Conservation funds. Today’s action by the Department of Interior restores the intent of the Great American Outdoors Act, which fully and permanently funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 

For over 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped create and fund outdoor recreation spaces in nearly every county in America. This fund will be a critical tool in meeting President Biden’s 30 x 30 conservation goals. 


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