On Thursday, Feb. 9, Ducks Unlimited signed on to a national letter produced by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition
opposing a shift in funds from the LWCF to highways and other national infrastructure.
Recently introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), The Highway Investment, Job Creation and Economic Growth Act of 2012 (S. 1813) is intended to raise revenue for infrastructure spending.
However, several members of Congress have suggested diverting Outer Continental Shelf drilling royalties currently going to the LWCF to cover shortfalls to fund this new program.
Under the 1965 act, a set amount of drilling royalties are to be used to fund conservation of state and federal lands across the country. Some LWCF funds are being used to support the Dakota Grasslands Conservation Area, to protect waterfowl habitat in the Dakotas and the Prairie Pothole Region
"Although funds are often diverted from one program to another in Washington, we are strongly opposed to the idea of LWCF funds being moved outside the scope of conservation," said Scott Sutherland, director of DU's Governmental Affairs Office
Ducks Unlimited is among dozens of other federal, state and local conservation organizations, land trusts and other supporters that have officially signed on to the LWCF's letter opposing this reallocation of funds.