Today, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) released results from its annual industry-wide Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) collection survey to highlight key projects eligible for the $900 million in mandatory annual funding thanks to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. In late 2021, ORR put out a call for critical outdoor recreation-related project ideas to outdoor recreation partners across the spectrum of recreation activities and around the country– including state Outdoor Recreation Directors, outdoor businesses, and user groups – and received over 200 responses. From the complete list, ORR selected twelve projects that highlight the diverse benefits of LWCF funding, from rural economic development and small business creation to outdoor access for underserved communities.
“These outdoor recreation-related projects are all eligible for the mandatory annual $900M in LWCF funding from the Great American Outdoors Act and if completed will have tangible recreational and economic impacts in local communities,” said Jessica Turner, president of ORR. “This list of projects represents a diverse set of outdoor recreation activities and potential users and will be good for the economies and health of a broad swath of America. Whether it is through LWCF, the Legacy Restoration Fund, or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are eager to support Congress and the Administration in supporting high-quality recreation infrastructure opportunities.”
This year’s list of top projects, if funded, will create more outdoor access in communities without recreation assets and help build recreation economies as the pandemic eases. The list includes:
- Skull Hollow Trailhead – Prineville, Oregon
- Klauer Trail – New Mexico
- Pike County ATV Trail System – Pike County, Kentucky
- Bill Dance Signature Lakes – Tennessee
- Patuxent River State Park Trail System – Gaithersburg, Maryland
- Gallinas River Park Revitalization – Las Vegas, New Mexico
- Lost Trail Conservation Area – Flathead and Lincoln Counties, Montana
- PWS Marine Trail – Prince William Sound, Alaska
- Cinnabar Mountain Trail – Aleknagik, Alaska
- Northeast Iowa Backbone Trail – Guttenberg, Iowa
- Yonkers Greenway – Yonkers, New York
- Southern Tier Trail – Buffalo, New York
See descriptions of each project by clicking here.
Additionally, Trust for Public Lands has continued to develop their ‘The Future Projects Map,’ an interactive resource which showcases projects in needs of funding from LWCF. ORR worked with TPL to include the key projects collected from the recreation community the last two years which total over 330 LWCF eligible projects. This helps to show just how broad an impact outdoor recreation has across the nation and how vital LWCF is to creating access to the outdoors. The map includes “projects submitted by federal agencies to Congress as part of the annual budget and appropriations process as well as projects identified by state, local, and non-profit partners.”
ORR will continue to source and share key projects from across the country, highlighting the great need for recreation access through LWCF dollars and how funding these projects will engage more people in outdoor recreation and grow the outdoor recreation industry for years to come. ORR and our partners will be working with Congress, the administration, and state entities to ensure these projects break ground in a timely, cost-effective manner.
ORR’s priorities for use of LWCF dollars include the following:
- Increasing recreation access for everyone, across all outdoor activities (sportsmen, powersports enthusiasts, hikers, boaters, climbers, bikers, RVers and many more);
- Promoting rural economic development by adding value and jobs to nearby communities; and
- Enhancing opportunities for underrepresented groups (e.g. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, Low-income, Disabled, Immigrants, etc.)