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Return on the Investment From the Land & Water Conservation Fund

The Trust for Public Land conducted an analysis of the return on the investment of dollars for federal land acquisition at sixteen locations that received significant Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) acquisition funds between 1998 and 2009. For the 131,000 acres of land preserved, every $1 of LWCF funds spent returns almost $4 in economic value. Additionally, the 10.6 million annual visitors to these areas spend $511 million in the surrounding local communities.
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  • The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by Congress in 1965. It designates a portion of receipts from offshore oil and gas leases into a fund for land conservation and recreation. The Trust for Public Land (TPL) conducted an analysis of the return on the investment of LWCF dollars for federal land acquisition at sixteen locations that received significant LWCF acquisition funds between 1998 and 2009.
  • This research, published in 2010, found that every $1 of LWCF funds spent returns almost $4 in economic value. Using $537 million in LWCF funds, 131,000 acres of land were preserved. During the study period, these lands provide $2 billion in water quality protection and supply, flood protection, fish production, habitat provision, storm protection, carbon sequestration, grazing, aesthetics, pollination, dilution of wastewater, and erosion control. Additionally, the 10.6 million annual visitors to these areas spend $511 million in the surrounding local communities.

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Last modified by Nate Lotze

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