It Takes 2 Minutes to Show Your Love for Public Lands
Welcome to our series of “Call to Action” guest blog posts from the incredible nonprofit organizations we work with. Who better to dive into the important issues highlighted in our digital Call to Action phone booth than the groups leading the effort to take action for better, day after day. Read on to learn more, and then let your representatives know where you stand. Our digital Call to Action phone booth makes it easy and quick to make your voice heard.
By Trey Curtiss, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
If you love public lands and waters, one of the easiest things you can do to support them is pick up the phone.
And right now, it’s also one of the most important things you can do. Because unless Congress acts by Sept. 30, one of America’s most long-lived and successful conservation programs, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, will expire.
Whether you hike or hunt, kayak or fly fish, rock climb or ski, we all have a stake in our public lands and waters – and in programs like the LWCF that support them.
As the fastest growing conservation organization in North America dedicated to upholding your voice for our public lands, waters and wildlife, we at Backcountry Hunters & Anglers are excited to be working with KEEN to get the word out and make a bigger impact.
Bipartisan protection of over 5 million acres
LWCF is one of our most effective tools for conserving and expanding public access to our lands and waters. Since it was signed into law in 1964, the bipartisan LWCF has conserved over 5 million acres in 98 percent of U.S. counties. It’s funded more than 40,000 projects all over the United States, from national parks to neighborhood parks, from big-game habitat high in the mountains to community ballfields located in the middle of downtown. LWCF makes cities more livable, improves the health of fish and wildlife habitat, and not incidentally plays a significant role in supporting our nation’s $887 billion outdoors economy.
Funded through royalties paid by energy companies drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, LWCF doesn’t use a penny of your tax dollars. Furthermore, every $1 of LWCF money creates $4 in economic value. On top of that, more than 82 percent of Americans support the LWCF’s reauthorization.
Take action before Sept. 30
What’s the problem? Without action by Congress, the LWCF will sunset on Sept. 30. That’s why we need to raise our voices together. Whether you hike or hunt, kayak or fly fish, rock climb or ski, we all have a stake in our public lands and waters – and in programs like the LWCF that support them.
Outdoor Retailer attendees who stopped by the KEEN booth this past summer were happy to make the call in support of LWCF, even though some had never before heard of the program. Every person who called noted making their voices heard was easier than they expected.
Your voice matters, too. Here are a few things you can do today to ensure that the LWCF survives.
2. Spread the word through your personal social media channels. Educate friends and family on one of the greatest conservation tools America has in its back pocket. They might not know about it, but chances are they have benefitted from the LWCF.
3. Write an op-ed or letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Research LWCF projects and success stories in your area to personalize your story on how LWCF has impacted and enhanced your life.
Together we can make a difference. So take two minutes right now to #SaveLWCF!
Trey Curtiss works at Backcountry Hunters & Anglers as BHA’s collegiate curriculum and outreach assistant. Born and raised in Missoula, Montana, Trey was introduced to hunting and angling at a very young age and quickly realized he wanted to pursue a career working in the interests of wildlife, wildlands and our shared hunting and angling traditions.