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The Fayette Alliance Supports Federal Funding to Conserve KY’s Natural Resources

Cumberland Falls courtesy of Jeff Rodgers

The Fayette Alliance is joining the Nature Conservancy, Bluegrass Tomorrow, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, and countless other organizations to support dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The LWCF is an important tool for conserving our nation’s land and water resources, including critical habitat for fish and wildlife, and places for Americans to hunt, fish, paddle, horseback ride, and hike and enjoy other forms of outdoor recreation.

Authorized at $900 million per year, revenue from offshore oil and gas receipts are the primary source of funds for this program. However, nearly every year money from this fund is diverted elsewhere as 3 million acres of wildlife habitat and agricultural land are lost to development.

In Kentucky, LWCF has helped conserve some of our most treasured places.  Kentucky has received over $100 million over the past four decades, protecting places such as the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and the Daniel Boone National Forest.

LWCF also provides state assistance grants that support the acquisition and development of state and local parks and outdoor recreation facilities. LWCF provides a vital federal complement to ongoing state, local and private land conservation, and park and recreation efforts.

We asked Senator McConnell to support LWCF before the holiday recess–as it plays an important role in farmland preservation and sustainable growth here in Fayette County. Click here to view a draft of our letter to Senator McConnell.

However, the severity of the nation’s economic and fiscal condition took precedence during the Lame Duck session,  and action on the Land and Water Fund and many other issues was deferred to the next Congress.  Nevertheless, The Fayette Alliance was part of a coalition that extended from Maine to Hawaii in support of dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation fund.

At the national level, there is already movement afoot to use the support generated in the past Congress to make progress on a commonsense, cost-effective bi-partisan agenda to protect America’s  lands  and waters–from incentivizing conservation easements to using Farm Bill programs to preserve critical soil and water resources.
We’ll keep you posted of future developments here at fayettealliance.com