The LWCF’s purpose was to protect wildlife forestries and lands to provide a safe place for the public to visit. State and national parks haven’t always been open to the public. They were opened and maintained by the government under this law.
In 1965, the bill was signed into law “to establish a land and water conservation fund to assist the States and Federal [H. R. 3846] agencies in meeting present and future outdoor recreation demands and needs of the American people, and for other purposes,” according to the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, Public Law 88-578 Title 16, United States Code.
Oil and gas companies, like Shell, were responsible for funding the bill, according to lwcfcoalition.org.
It’s estimated that nearly $900 million in royalties are paid each year by these companies, according to “What is the Land and Water Conservation Fund” on lwcfcoalition.org.
In California, $3.7 million was earned in 2014 and has received about $300 million funding for these parks since 1965, according to The Desert Sun.
Over 40,000 projects were funded under the LWCF and 21,000 acres of land across counties all over the states.
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior said, “after 50 years of resounding success in enriching
America’s great outdoors, the Land and Water Conservation Fund needlessly faces an uncertain future. I am extremely disappointed that, despite overwhelming bipartisan support, Congress has allowed this innovative and effective program to expire.”
Student Dalton Stukey said, “That’s too bad; what are people going to do now? Build playgrounds in their backyards? So many parents rely on parks for entertaining their children, now they won’t have a safe place to do that.”
Student Carley Lloyd said, “It’s so sad that people may not be able to enjoy nature. As a hiker, this could ruin a lot of plans I have for the next year. Parks are a place for peace for so many people, and to have that taken away is so unfortunate.”
Dr. Sally McGill, the interim chair of the geology department said that for her the recent expiration is “alarming.”
McGill also shared that students are constantly being taken to different sites to explore rocks in their natural habitat. This could affect the future of geology students ability to go into their field of practice to explore different rocks; especially here in California.