2011 has been a wild year, to say the least, with regards to the number of direct assaults on many of the laws and funds that protect open space, clean air and water, and other environmental concerns. Under the guise of deficit reduction and job creation, many of the bedrock conservation laws that protect the natural resources we all need are being targeted. The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was originally designed by Congress to dedicate a small portion of royalties from oil and gas development on Federal lands and offshore drilling to open space and land conservation, is arguably the target most severely impacted by these cuts. Congress is currently trying to divert more than 90% of its mandated royalty funding to other non-conservation purposes.
However a new study illustrates the public's appreciation for the fund and the benefits that it provides to all Americans as a payback for some of the world's largest companies to be allowed to profit from our public trust. Are we ok with giving away our great outdoors for a short term financial task?
NewWest did a great article on this study...click here to read more.