Appalachian Trail Conservancy Opposes Severe Cuts to Land and Water Conservation Fund

Date Published: Mar 17, 2017

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Opposes Severe Cuts to Land and Water Conservation Fund

Statement from Ron Tipton, President and CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) strongly opposes the drastic reduction in funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) proposed by the Trump Administration. The LWCF is America’s most effective conservation program, which has played a critical role in the protection of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.).

Roan Highlands
The Roan Highlands in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, as well as
many other locations along the Appalachian Trail, are protected
today thanks in large part to funds provided by the LWCF.

Signed into law in 1964, the LWCF uses a portion of offshore drilling fees for the purchase and protection of land and water, with money intended for national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges and other irreplaceable natural resources.

The Trump Administration's willingness to implement such severe cuts to the LWCF is disappointing, as it shows a misunderstanding of the importance of land preservation for outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing, clean water sources and the unmatched beauty of the American landscape. It also disregards the economic benefits that outdoor recreation brings to local communities, an industry that generates $650 billion dollars in annual sales and over 6.1 million jobs across the United States.

The ATC has benefitted from the LWCF in many of its most high-profile and iconic protection efforts along the length of the A.T., including the preservation of the Roan Highlands viewshed in North Carolina and Tennessee. The LWCF is instrumental in preserving our natural, cultural, and historical treasures that have brought millions of visitors to the A.T. each year.

The ATC urges Congress to issue a bipartisan rejection of these cuts on behalf of all American citizens, who have benefitted directly from the protection of America’s lands and waters. The ATC also encourages our members, outdoor enthusiasts, and the general public to contact their congressional representatives to voice their support for the LWCF and their opposition to the Trump administration’s budget cuts. Their support is essential to ensuring the protection of places like the A.T. today, tomorrow and for centuries to come."

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