Interior Announces over $170 Million in Grants Going to State Parks and Recreation

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by Derek Drapin

 

The U.S. Department of Interior announced over $170 million in grants funded without taxpayer dollars will be distributed to state parks and outdoor recreation projects in all 50 states.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said Thursday that $170,623,713 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) will be implemented by the National Park Service.

The grants aren’t funded by taxpayer dollars since the LWCF is funded by revenue generated from offshore oil and gas leasing.

“Using zero taxpayer dollars, LWCF invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to help rehabilitate and improve infrastructure at state and local parks and other recreation areas,” Bernhardt, pictured right, said. “Funds will also be used to maximize access by opening up landlocked public lands. A small investment in a little strip of land can open up thousands of acres to outdoor recreation enthusiasts.”

LWCF, which was passed by Congress in 1964, was permanently reauthorized by Congress earlier this year.

Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, a trade group representing the oil and gas industry, noted that oil and natural gas development is the sole source of funding for LWCF.

“The industry is a strong environmental partner across the West, both through countless private donations to conservation groups and initiatives as well as direct on-the-ground conservation work,” Sgamma said.

The states that allocated the most money are California ($14,564,940), Texas ($9,746,191), New York ($7,941,700), Florida ($7,869,846), Illinois ($5,726,425), and Pennsylvania ($5,430,820).

Of western states, Washington received $3,577,901, Arizona received $3,541,391, Colorado received $3,034,579, and Nevada received $2,292,912.

Here’s how much each state and territory receives:

Alabama: $2,689,167Alaska: $1,548,962
American Samoa: $100,000Arizona: $3,541,391
Arkansas: $2,145,470Colorado: $3,034,579
Connecticut: $2,557,032Delaware: $1,635,930
District of Columbia: $391,688Florida: $7,869,846
Georgia: $4,389,379Guam: $104,640
Hawaii: $1,812,894Iowa: $2,229,844
Kansas: $2,231,831Kentucky: $2,558,960
Louisiana: $2,748,844Maine: $1,659,106
Maryland: $3,297,805Massachusetts: $3,623,566
Michigan: $4,441,165Minnesota: $2,989,532
Mississippi: $2,118,928Missouri: $3,168,557
Montana: $1,611,602Nebraska: $1,906,325
Nevada: $2,292,912New Hampshire: $1,713,672
New Jersey: $4,454,876New Mexico: $1,996,570
New York: $7,941,700North Carolina: $4,168,859
North Dakota: $1,529,494Northern Marianas: $100,000
Ohio: $5,038,141Oklahoma: $2,453,004
Oregon: $2,590,904Pennsylvania: $5,430,820
Puerto Rico: $2,369,821Rhode Island: $1,702,981
South Carolina: $2,713,499South Dakota: $1,564,430
Tennessee: $3,225,968Texas: $9,746,191
Utah: $2,295,171Virgin Islands: $100,000
Vermont: $1,489,677Virginia: $3,864,426
Washington: $3,577,901West Virginia: $1,823,422
Wisconsin: $3,073,041Wyoming: $1,504,029

Total: $170,623,713

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Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square.

 

 

 

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