Thanks to Rep. Scott Tipton for his support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund for Colorado. The Land and Water Conservation Fund celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. In 1964, the LWCF was established to protect Americans’ land and water. No taxpayer dollars go into the LWCF; instead, it’s funded with a portion of off-shore drilling fees. Colorado has received more than $230 million since the inception of LWCF, which was invested to protect some of our most cherished landscapes including Mesa Verde National Park, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Perins Peak Wildlife Habitat Area and the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area.
While LWCF protects our land and water, it also provides a significant benefit to Colorado’s recreation economy. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, Colorado’s outdoor recreation generates more than $13 billion of economic activity annually for our state. LWCF is authorized to receive up to $900 million. It is the premier program to conserve our land, water, historic, and recreational heritage. Unfortunately most of the funds authorized for LWCF have been diverted to other purposes in recent years.
Tipton recently joined his fellow Congressional colleagues to advocate for strong LWCF funding in next year’s budget. Thanks to Tipton for standing up for Colorado’s forests, watershed and recreation economy. It’s exciting and gratifying to see Congress working together to protect our landscapes and I appreciate Tipton’s active role in that effort.