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Secretary of the Interior announces funds for state parks and outdoor recreation

Posted at 6:29 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 19:32:40-04

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:

Alabama $1,575,379

Alaska $907,707

Arizona $2,074,129

Arkansas $1,257,021

California $8,527,497

Colorado $1,777,444

Connecticut $1,497,856

Delaware $958,608

Florida $4,608,137

Georgia $2,570,741

Hawaii $1,062,199

Idaho $1,065,085

Illinois $3,353,349

Indiana $1,959,895

Iowa $1,306,393

Kansas $1,307,516

Kentucky $1,499,138

Louisiana $1,610,231

Maine $972,249

Maryland $1,931,542

Massachusetts $2,122,220

Michigan $2,601,068

Minnesota $1,751,154

Mississippi $1,241,508

Missouri $1,855,995

Montana $944,398

Nebraska $1,116,936

Nevada $1,343,209

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

Ohio $2,950,544

Oklahoma $1,437,051

Oregon $1,517,718

Pennsylvania $3,180,438

Rhode Island $997,854

South Carolina $1,589,578

South Dakota $916,774

Tennessee $1,889,644

Texas $5,706,801

Utah $1,344,543

Vermont $873,017

Virginia $2,263,381

Washington $2,095,549

West Virginia $1,068,456

Wisconsin $1,800,071

Wyoming $881,398

District of Columbia $229,413

Puerto Rico $1,388,048

Virgin Islands $75,000

Guam $75,000

American Samoa $75,000

Northern Marianas $75,000