Today, Secretary of the interior Ryan Zinke announced a $1.6 million distribution from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects.
The announcement happened Tuesday at Acadiana Park in Lafayette. $100 million will be distributed among all 50 states, territories and District of Columbia. LWCF funds are non-taxpayer dollars derived from Outer Continental Shelf lease revenues and are awarded through federal matching grants administered by the National Park Service, according to officials.
“How do we make the recreation experience better in this country. It has to make sure we look at how the trail systems connect, the bike systems connect. the water sheds connect. what happens upstream effects downstream. all the way down to a little bridge here that connects one side of the area to the next,” Zinke said.
Zinke made the announcement after taking a tour through Acadiana park in Lafayette.
The park in Lafayette will get $100,000 to help build a foot bridge over a coulee, which will help connect the park’s trail system.
The City of Lafayette has benefited greatly from land and water conservation fund. Since 1966, the city has received 21 LWCF grants for a total of $1.56 million dollars. Additionally, there’s been 16 other LWCF grants for a total of $600,000 dollars going towards parks in the parish and within Lafayette City proper.
In all, the State of Louisiana will get $1.6 million, but critics say Louisiana’s share should be more considering most of the money comes from offshore oil and gas production.
“Part of the argument about LWCF from the Louisiana delegation is the revenue is all offshore, and yet Louisiana gets $1.6 million whereas Montana gets more?” Zinke said.
Zinke says the solution is generating funding from energy producers across the board.
“The way that we’re funding our parks is by looking at energy across the board; wind, solar, off shore, on shore. With the proposition that if you’re going to create wealth from public lands, than you should also have an obligation to preserve,” Zinke said.
Louisiana is set to receive in total $1,610,231.
The full list of states and their funding is below:
Fiscal Year 2018 LWCF Apportionments by State:
New Hampshire $1,004,160
New Jersey $2,608,866
New Mexico $1,169,763
New York $4,650,277
North Carolina $2,441,739
North Dakota $896,313
Rhode Island $997,854
South Carolina $1,589,578
South Dakota $916,774
West Virginia $1,068,456
District of Columbia $229,413
Puerto Rico $1,388,048
Virgin Islands $75,000
American Samoa $75,000
Northern Marianas $75,000