Where exactly does big oil money go? In some cases, it's destined for positive causes, like with the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The idea behind this fund was simple: take some of the wealth from offshore drilling and reinvest it in conservation and recreation. Seems like a simple and smart idea doesn't it? Created in 1965, the idea was for Congress to reinvest up to $900 million in the LWCF per year. If you think of the billions of dollars that the oil industry is responsible for every year, that's a small percentage.
Despite being chronically underfunded, the LWCF is still the most effective funding mechanism available to Congress to expand and improve opportunities for human-powered outdoor pursuits, including snowshoing, Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing and backcountry snowboarding, that CA grantee Winter Wildlands works so hard to support and protect. Now you might be busy being all-consumed by the summer months, but enjoying these seasonal activities requires year-round action, and if you spend anytime outdoors you know that some of the best winter spots are also the best summer spots (take the headwaters of the Yellowstone River pictured above, a place that's benefited from the LWCF).
In fact, the LWCF not only helps enhance National Parks, Forests, National Trails and Wild and Scenic Rivers, but also helps establish close-to-home open space, parks and recreation facilities in every U.S. state. All together, more than 40,000 projects have been successfully completed through the fund, providing new and improved outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans.
So what can you do? Take action and tell your Senators and Representatives to support the LWCF, and put some of those offshore drilling profits to good use. Just click here.
In the midst of the BP oil spill it's important to remember that we all need to work together to find ways to move forward, and supporting the LWCF is one of them.