Just after the release of the President’s 2006 Budget, which drastically cuts funding for public lands conservation, more than a dozen conservation activists spent the week of February 14, 2005 educating Members of Congress and Administration officials about the need to adequately fund the National Landscape Conservation System.
Hailing mostly from Western states, activists emphasized that habitat restoration, vandalism prevention, research on cultural sites and heritage areas are all among the priorities in NLCS units that require immediate attention and funding. They also underscored the need to bring greater transparency to the System’s budget. Currently, it’s virtually impossible to track how funds within the System are deployed.
Many of the 30+ Congressional offices with whom activists met were supportive of the need for additional funding for the System. The NLCS has received near-level funding of about $39-42 million a year since it’s inception in 2000, despite inflation, new challenges like land use planning, and growing visitor numbers. Congressional offices were particularly cognizant of the need to increase funding for the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which makes possible the acquisition of critical public lands to benefit recreation, open space, and habitat. Funding for land acquisition by the Bureau of Land Management, the NLCS’ steward, has plunged in recent years. The President’s budget appropriates just $9.5 million for BLM land acquisition, half of the ’05 appropriation
Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee for NLCS Funding
Land and Water Conservation Fund's (LWCF) Importance to the NLCS
Building Accountability: Justification For a New Budget Structure for the NLCS
BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System: Minimal Funding, Maximum Needs
Invest in an American Treasure: The National Landscape Conservation System