ORR Showcases Need for LWCF Funding from Across the Outdoor Industry

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Newly Fully-Funded LWCF will Grow Recreation Economies, Outdoor Access for All Americans

Today, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable released the results of an industry-wide survey which collected key projects in need of funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). With the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act earlier this year, LWCF now will receive $900 million in mandatory annual funding for outdoor recreation and conservation projects across the nation. ORR put out a call for projects to outdoor recreation partners across the country and activity spectrum – including state Outdoor Recreation Directors, outdoor businesses and user groups – and received over 200 responses in two weeks. This overwhelming response shows the tremendous need for LWCF funding to create outdoor access in communities without recreation assets and grow recreation economies at a time when jobs and revitalization through the outdoors are needed most. 

“We called on the outdoor industry community to identify projects in need of LWCF funding that would have tangible recreational and economic impacts in local communities – and the response was overwhelming,” said ORR’s executive director Jessica Turner. “These initial eleven projects we are highlighting are great examples of how LWCF will benefit all forms of recreation and recreationists for generations to come. We look forward to working with the incoming Biden administration and engaging our state partners to ensure LWCF funding is implemented in a transparent and equitable way in order to get these projects funded and supporting communities and people on the ground.”

The release comes as Congress finishes negotiations on a FY21 spending package, which will allocate the first year of full LWCF funding at $900 million. The Senate Appropriations Bill included language pushing back on a Secretarial Order which put these projects at risk, specifically removing all projects from the Bureau of Land Management for motorized, sportsmen and snowmobiling. With Congressional action, ORR is hopeful that these projects are back on track and will have a tremendous impact on local recreation economies across the nation.

ORR will continue to source and share key projects from across the country, highlighting the great need for recreation access through LWCF dollars and showcasing 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 incoming administration and state entities to ensure the Great American Outdoors Act is implemented in a way that allows projects like these to move forward.

The highlighted projects showcase the recreation industry’s scope and opportunity, including:

  • Increasing recreation access for diverse user groups (sportsmen, powersports enthusiasts, hikers, boaters, climbers, bikers, RVers and many more);
  • Promoting rural economic development by adding value to nearby communities; and
  • Enhancing opportunities for underrepresented groups (e.g. Indigenous, Persons of Color, Low-income, Disabled and Immigrants, among others) 

From the full list, ORR has identified eleven outstanding projects that highlight just a few of the recreation opportunities made possible by LWCF. See additional descriptions of each project by clicking here.

Arizona: Homestead Climbing Area
LWCF Program: BLM Acquisition
Recreation Supported: Backpacking, Hiking, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing, Rock Climbing 
Cost: $150,000
Shovel-Readiness: The Access Fund has temporary ownership and BLM is on board 
with long-term ownership. The state is supportive and local ranchers and NGOs are in favor.

Delaware: Fishing Pier, Delaware City Branch Channel of the C&D Canal
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: Fishing, Wildlife Viewing, Walking, Biking  
Cost: $500,001 – $750,000
Shovel-Readiness: The project is well-suited for FY22. The project was designed as 
part of a joint plan by Delaware City, the State of Delaware, and Main Street Delaware City. The project was previously approved but lacked funding.

Michigan: Restore ATV/Snowmobile Trail from Dollar Bay to Lake Linden 
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: ATV, Snowmobile
Cost: $2,541,600
Shovel-Readiness: The project has been submitted by Michigan to NPS for FY22 
approval.

New Mexico: All Abilities Park  
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: Playground 
Cost: $750,001 – $1,000,000
Shovel-Readiness: The City Council has identified this project as a Community Transformation and Economic Development (CTED) priority park, and the Parks and Cultural Affairs Department is ready to support. 

New Mexico: Bluewater Creek ACEC Acquisition
LWCF Program: BLM Acquisition
Recreation Supported: Backpacking, Hiking, Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing, Rock Climbing, Archery
Cost: $500,000
Shovel-Readiness: The project has $280,000 of financial support from BLM and several NGOs.

Ohio: Bryson Park District, Eastview and Westview Parks
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: Playground, Skating, Disc Golf, Kayaking, Canoe, Ball Sports
Cost: $1,000,000
Shovel-Readiness: In November, City Council members acted on a resolution authorizing the mayor to apply to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources LWCF grant program, and the town has applied.

Oregon: Junction City Fishing 
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: Backpacking, Hiking, Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Archery  
Cost: $460,000
Shovel-Readiness: The project sponsor has secured some state funding and is in the final planning and design phase with the intent to start work on Phase 1 in Spring 2021 and complete Phase 2 in Fall 2021/Winter 2022. They have also begun discussions to get some private funding but with COVID those efforts were suspended, and they will be opening that dialogue again soon. The project has support from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Restoration and Enhancement Board. 

Oregon: Yellowjacket Reservoir Access
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: Boating, Campground & Hospitality, Fishing, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting, Wildlife Viewing, Sailing, Motorboating
Cost: $200,000
Shovel-Readiness: The project is in the planning stages. The site has been identified as a priority fishing access location and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is prepared to manage and maintain the site. The Oregon Wildlife Foundation is actively fundraising for the project. 

Pennsylvania: North Delaware River Greenway
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance 
Recreation Supported: Biking, Boating, Fishing, Canoeing, Kayaking and Rafting, Sailing, Motorboating
Cost: $1,250,000 – $1,500,00
Shovel-Readiness: The City of Philadelphia has provided capital support for park projects on the greenway and partnered with Riverfront North Partnership (who would steward the space) on an update of its master plan. They have support from city council members. They expect to break ground in early 2023.

Washington: Renovating Lakeside Park
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting, Sailing, Motorboating, Swimming
Cost: $1,187,596
Shovel-Readiness: The project has been submitted by the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office for NPS funding and anticipates partial funding for this project in FY21 and full funding in FY22.

Washington: Port of Anacortes: Developing the Cap Sante Marina RV Park  
LWCF Program: State and Local Assistance
Recreation Supported: RV Camping
Cost: $2,311,971
Shovel-Readiness: This project has been submitted by the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office for NPS funding and anticipates full funding in FY22.

ORR will continue to roll out lists of priority LWCF-eligible recreation projects gathered from the outdoor recreation industry.