Carbondale Trustees Support the Land & Water Conservation Fund

In early June, the Carbondale Trustees provided a letter of support for the Colorado Congressional Delegation to advance full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The Carbondale Trustees have joined more than 130 council members around the state as part of ‘The Mountain Pact’ in asking the Colorado Congressional Delegation to vote for full and dedicated funding of the LWCF in support of our mountain communities, and public lands for all Americans.

The LWCF has provided funding over the last 52 years for countless federal, state, and local public lands projects in every county in the United States.[1] These resources have helped to create an extensive network of public lands and waters for conservation, ecosystem preservation, and for all Americans to enjoy.Outdoor recreation and proximity to open spaces - many of which have been enhanced through the use of the LWCF - draw residents and tourists to mountain communities which provides significant economic support as well as a distinct and desirable way of life. A recent study found that counties in close proximity to public lands perform substantially better in key economic factors such as employment and personal income than counties without nearby public lands.[2]

Since the LWCF expired in late September 2018, the fund has lost more than $350 million that should have been used for the conservation, enhancement, and protection of public lands and waterways. Many projects funded by the LWCF have an uncertain future due to the current lack of funding and historically unpredictable nature of funding for the program.

The LWCF is a vital component of job creation and economic development through support for public land infrastructure. Reports show that the LWCF provides a strong return on investment. One study found that for every $1 of LWCF funds invested there is a remarkable return of $4 in economic value.[3]

Colorado communities are inextricably linked to the public lands that surround them. Our residents and business owners rely on public lands visitation and exploration for economic success and cultural vitality. The LWCF supports and enhances public lands, and as such, our communities.