National Recreation and Park Association Fighting for Park and Recreation Funding: State Conservation, Urban Park Funds at Risk without Your Help

Parks & Recreation, July 2003 | Go to article overview

National Recreation and Park Association Fighting for Park and Recreation Funding: State Conservation, Urban Park Funds at Risk without Your Help


NRPA is working hard to restore funding for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) state assistance and the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR) for Fiscal Year 2004. As this issue of Parks & Recreation went to press, the House Subcommittee on the Interior and related agencies had proposed to provide $98 million for LWCF, identical to this fiscal year's funding level. UPARR would receive no funds in the subcommittee bill.

The four federal agencies eligible for LWCF funds--USDA Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management--would collectively receive $100 million, about $200 million less than current funding.

Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), ranking minority member of the Appropriations Committee, called the recommendation a breach of an FY 2001 agreement to create a permanent "conservation trust" to fund several recreation and conservation programs, including urban parks and LWCF state assistance. That agreement was made in a move to thwart the authorization of a proposed Conservation and Reinvestment trust in 2000.

In February, President Bush proposed $160 million for LWCF state assistance, but no urban park funds in his FY 2004 proposed budget.

No date has been set for Senate subcommittee action on its version of the FY 2004 Interior bill. NRPA members are urged to take advantage of this lull and contact their federal representatives about the importance of full funding for these vital programs. See the end of this article for how to use NRPA's new, easy online advocacy tool.

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