Land and Water Conservation Fund: Appropriations for “Other Purposes”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of 1965 (P.L. 88-578) created the LWCF in the Treasury as a funding source to implement the outdoor recreation goals set out by the act. The LWCF Act authorizes the fund to receive $900 million annually through September 30, 2018, with the monies available only if appropriated by Congress. The fund receives additional money under more recent legislation—the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006—and these appropriations are mandatory. The level of annual appropriations has varied widely since the origin of the fund in FY1965.

The LWCF Act outlines uses of the fund for federal and state purposes. It lists the federal purposes for which the President is to allot LWCF funds “unless otherwise allotted in the appropriation Act making them available.” These purposes primarily relate to acquisition of lands and waters (and interests therein) by the federal government. With regard to state purposes, the act authorizes a matching grant program to states for outdoor recreation purposes. Throughout the LWCF’s history, appropriations acts typically have provided funds for land acquisition and outdoor recreational grants to states.

Beginning in FY1998, appropriations also have been provided each year (except FY1999) to fund other purposes related to natural resources. The extent to which the LWCF should be used for purposes other than federal land acquisition and outdoor recreation grants to states, and which other purposes should be funded from the LWCF, continue to be the subject of legislation and debate in Congress. Over the past two decades, Presidents have sought LWCF funds for a variety of other purposes. Congress chooses which if any of these requests to fund, and has chosen programs not sought by the President for a particular year. Appropriations have been provided for facility maintenance of the land management agencies, ecosystem restoration, the Historic Preservation Fund, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, the Forest Legacy Program, State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (under the Fish and Wildlife Service), the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, U.S. Geological Survey science and cooperative programs, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements, among other programs.

Since FY1998, a total of $2.6 billion has been appropriated for other purposes, of a total LWCF appropriation of $18.4 billion over the history of the fund. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service have received the largest shares of the total appropriations for other purposes, about $1.4 billion (54%) and $1.0.billion (37%), respectively, from FY1998 to FY2018. Several agencies shared the remaining $0.2 billion (9%) of the appropriations.

Both the dollar amounts and the percentages of annual LWCF appropriations for other purposes have varied widely since FY1998. The dollar amounts have ranged from $0 in FY1999 to $456.0 million in FY2001. The percentage of annual funds provided for other purposes ranged from 0% in FY1999 to a high of 59% in both FY2006 and FY2007. In some years, the appropriation for other purposes was significantly less than the Administration requested. For instance, for FY2008, the George W. Bush Administration sought $313.1 million; the appropriation was $101.3 million. The appropriation for other purposes last exceeded $100.0 million in FY2010, and most recently was $80.7 million, in FY2018.

Prior to FY2008, several other purposes typically were funded each year from LWCF. Since FY2008, funds have been appropriated annually only for grants under two programs: Forest Legacy and Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. These two programs and a third grant program funded prior to FY2008 from LWCF—State and Tribal Wildlife Grants—have received more than three-quarters ($2.1 billion, 78%) of the total appropriation for other purposes since FY1998.

Land and Water Conservation Fund: Appropriations for "Other Purposes"

Updated August 27, 2018 (R44121)
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Summary

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of 1965 (P.L. 88-578) created the LWCF in the Treasury as a funding source to implement the outdoor recreation goals set out by the act. The LWCF Act authorizes the fund to receive $900 million annually through September 30, 2018, with the monies available only if appropriated by Congress. The fund receives additional money under more recent legislation—the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006—and these appropriations are mandatory. The level of annual appropriations has varied widely since the origin of the fund in FY1965.

The LWCF Act outlines uses of the fund for federal and state purposes. It lists the federal purposes for which the President is to allot LWCF funds "unless otherwise allotted in the appropriation Act making them available." These purposes primarily relate to acquisition of lands and waters (and interests therein) by the federal government. With regard to state purposes, the act authorizes a matching grant program to states for outdoor recreation purposes. Throughout the LWCF's history, appropriations acts typically have provided funds for land acquisition and outdoor recreational grants to states.

Beginning in FY1998, appropriations also have been provided each year (except FY1999) to fund other purposes related to natural resources. The extent to which the LWCF should be used for purposes other than federal land acquisition and outdoor recreation grants to states, and which other purposes should be funded from the LWCF, continue to be the subject of legislation and debate in Congress. Over the past two decades, Presidents have sought LWCF funds for a variety of other purposes. Congress chooses which if any of these requests to fund, and has chosen programs not sought by the President for a particular year. Appropriations have been provided for facility maintenance of the land management agencies, ecosystem restoration, the Historic Preservation Fund, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, the Forest Legacy Program, State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (under the Fish and Wildlife Service), the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, U.S. Geological Survey science and cooperative programs, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements, among other programs.

Since FY1998, a total of $2.6 billion has been appropriated for other purposes, of a total LWCF appropriation of $18.4 billion over the history of the fund. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service have received the largest shares of the total appropriations for other purposes, about $1.4 billion (54%) and $1.0.billion (37%), respectively, from FY1998 to FY2018. Several agencies shared the remaining $0.2 billion (9%) of the appropriations.

Both the dollar amounts and the percentages of annual LWCF appropriations for other purposes have varied widely since FY1998. The dollar amounts have ranged from $0 in FY1999 to $456.0 million in FY2001. The percentage of annual funds provided for other purposes ranged from 0% in FY1999 to a high of 59% in both FY2006 and FY2007. In some years, the appropriation for other purposes was significantly less than the Administration requested. For instance, for FY2008, the George W. Bush Administration sought $313.1 million; the appropriation was $101.3 million. The appropriation for other purposes last exceeded $100.0 million in FY2010, and most recently was $80.7 million, in FY2018.

Prior to FY2008, several other purposes typically were funded each year from LWCF. Since FY2008, funds have been appropriated annually only for grants under two programs: Forest Legacy and Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. These two programs and a third grant program funded prior to FY2008 from LWCF—State and Tribal Wildlife Grants—have received more than three-quarters ($2.1 billion, 78%) of the total appropriation for other purposes since FY1998.


Introduction

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of 19651 was enacted to "assist in preserving, developing, and assuring accessibility to ... outdoor recreation resources."2 Two main goals of the law were to facilitate participation in recreation and "to strengthen the health and vitality" of U.S. citizens.3 To accomplish these goals, purposes of the law included "providing funds" for federal land acquisition and for federal assistance to states generally related to outdoor recreation.

Currently, the fund is authorized to receive $900 million in revenues annually under the LWCF Act, and each year the fund accrues revenues at this level. The fund accumulates the majority of its revenues from oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). It also accumulates revenues from the federal motorboat fuel tax and surplus property sales. However, revenues that accrue under the LWCF Act are available only if appropriated by Congress through the discretionary appropriations process. The authority for the fund to accrue $900 million annually is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2018.4

The LWCF receives additional revenue (beyond the $900 million) from OCS leasing under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA).5 These revenues are mandatory spending (and thus not subject to annual appropriation by Congress). They can be used only for grants to states for outdoor recreation purposes. The authority for the LWCF to accrue revenues under GOMESA does not have an expiration date.

The overall level of annual appropriations (discretionary and mandatory combined) has varied widely since the fund's origin in FY1965. Of the total revenues that have accrued throughout the program's history ($40.0 billion), less than half have been appropriated ($18.4 billion) through FY2018.6 Thus, the unappropriated balance in the fund is currently estimated at $21.6 billion.7

The LWCF Act outlines uses of the fund for federal and state purposes. It lists the federal purposes for which the President is to allot LWCF funds "unless otherwise allotted in the appropriation Act making them available."8 These purposes primarily relate to the acquisition of lands and waters (and interests therein) by the federal government.9 With regard to state purposes, the act authorizes a matching grant program to states for outdoor recreation purposes, specifically recreation planning, acquisition of lands and waters (and interests therein), and development.

In practice, over the history of the LWCF, appropriations acts have provided funding for three general purposes. First, for each year since FY1965, appropriations for land acquisition have been provided to some or all of the major federal land management agencies—the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Park Service (NPS), and Forest Service (FS). Second, for nearly every year since FY1965, appropriations have funded the matching grant program to assist states in recreational planning, acquiring recreational lands and waters, and developing outdoor recreational facilities. Third, beginning in FY1998, appropriations from the LWCF have been provided each year, except FY1999, to fund other federal programs with related natural resource purposes. Hereinafter, the third type of appropriations is referred to as funding other purposes.

The $18.4 billion appropriated from the fund through FY2018 has been allocated in different proportions among federal land acquisition, the state grant program, and other purposes. The largest portion of the total—$11.2 billion—has been appropriated for federal land acquisition. The state grant program has received the second-largest portion, $4.7 billion. Other purposes have received the remaining $2.6 billion. Appendix A shows the total LWCF appropriation for other purposes.

Congress continues to consider the extent to which the LWCF should fund purposes other than federal land acquisition and outdoor recreation grants to states. Some traditional LWCF advocates and beneficiaries have expressed concern about expanding the use of the funds, particularly if such expansion results in lower appropriations for land acquisition and outdoor recreation grants to states. Some Members of Congress, administrations, and stakeholders have supported funding other purposes in order to draw on the balance in the fund for policy priorities, to shift the focus of the fund from land acquisition, or to achieve other goals.

A number of measures introduced in the 115th Congress would authorize funding from the LWCF for various other purposes. They include proposals to specify an amount or percentage of funding for two programs that are currently funded by the LWCF—the Forest Legacy Program and Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation grants—although the LWCF Act does not specifically authorize this funding.10 Other proposals would authorize programs or activities that have not been funded by LWCF in the past, or that have been rarely funded by LWCF in the past. For instance, one bill would authorize LWCF funding for certain programs and activities of the major land management agencies, including deferred maintenance, critical infrastructure, visitor services, and clean-up efforts; the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Program;11 and certain offshore energy exploration, innovation, and education activities.12 As another example, one bill would authorize financial assistance from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for park and recreation infrastructure projects.13

The balance of this report discusses the other purposes for which LWCF appropriations have been provided throughout the fund's history. It identifies the amount of funding contained in annual appropriations laws for other purposes and the types of purposes for which funds have been appropriated.14

LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes

Level of Funding

A total of $72 million was appropriated from the LWCF for other purposes in FY1998, the first year in which LWCF was used to fund other purposes. The total included $60.0 million for maintenance needs of the four land management agencies and $12.0 million for rehabilitation and maintenance of the Beartooth Highway (in Wyoming and Montana). In FY1998, total LWCF appropriations had spiked dramatically to $969 million15 from the FY1997 level of $159 million.16

Both the dollar amounts and the percentages of annual LWCF appropriations for other purposes have varied widely since FY1998. (See Appendix B.) Over the most recent 10 years, LWCF appropriations for other purposes declined from $104.1 million in FY2009 to $80.7 million in FY2018 (in current dollars). Beginning in FY2011, appropriations for each year have been less than $100 million and have been lower than any year except for FY1998-FY2000.

Appropriations for other purposes were at their lowest dollar amount in FY1999, when no funds for other purposes were appropriated. The next-lowest dollar value was provided for FY2000, when a total of $20.0 million was appropriated for three purposes: Elwha River Ecosystem restoration (in Washington), deferred maintenance of the NPS, and the FS Forest Legacy program.

By contrast, the dollar value of the appropriations for other purposes was much higher in FY2001 ($456.0 million) than in any other year. These appropriations were used to fund more than a dozen programs in the Clinton Administration's Lands Legacy Initiative. In that year, total LWCF appropriations exceeded the authorized level, totaling nearly $1 billion. This record level of funding was provided partly in response to President Clinton's Lands Legacy Initiative, which sought $1.4 billion for about two dozen resource-protection programs, including the LWCF. It also was provided partly in response to some congressional interest in securing increased and more certain funding for the LWCF.

The highest percentage of annual funds provided for other purposes occurred in FY2006 and FY2007 (59% in both years), in response to President George W. Bush's request for funding for an array of programs. For instance, in FY2007 the Bush Administration sought funding from the LWCF for 15 programs in addition to land acquisition and state grants. For that year, the appropriation for five other purposes was $216.1 million, out of a total LWCF appropriation of $366.1 million.

In some years, the appropriation for other purposes was significantly less than the Administration requested. For example, for FY2008 the Bush Administration sought $313.1 million for other purposes, or 83% of the total request of $378.7 million. The FY2008 appropriation for other purposes was $101.3 million, or 40% of the LWCF total of $255.1 million.

The $2.6 billion appropriated from the LWCF from FY1998 to FY2018 for other purposes represents 28% of the $9.5 billion total appropriations from LWCF during the period. FWS and FS have received the largest shares of the appropriations for other purposes, about $1.4 billion (54%) and $1.0 billion (37%), respectively. BLM, NPS, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have shared the remaining $0.2 billion (9%) of the appropriations for other purposes. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Total LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes, by Agency, FY1998-FY2018

(in millions of dollars, not adjusted for inflation)

Source: Graphic created by CRS. The primary source for the data is the DOI Office of Budget. Additional sources of information include the annual DOI Budget in Brief and congressional documents accompanying the annual Interior appropriations bill.

Note: Some programs reflected in this figure (e.g., the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund and State and Tribal Wildlife grants) have received appropriations from sources in addition to the LWCF. Other sources of funding have included the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.

Types of Purposes

Because there is no set of other purposes specified to be funded from LWCF, presidents have sought funds for a variety of purposes. Congress has chosen which of these requests to fund from the LWCF, and whether to fund any additional programs from the LWCF not suggested by the President.17 Appropriations for other purposes have been provided for more than a dozen diverse natural resource-related programs, including facility maintenance of the land management agencies, ecosystem restoration, the Historic Preservation Fund, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, the FS Forest Legacy program, FWS State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, the FWS Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, U.S. Geological Survey science and cooperative programs, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements.18 (See Appendix A.)

Although in earlier years several other purposes typically were funded from LWCF, since FY2008 funds have been appropriated annually only for grants under two programs: Forest Legacy and Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. (See Appendix B and Figure 2.) The total appropriation from LWCF for these two programs (since FY1998) is $1.6 billion, or 61% of all appropriations for other purposes ($2.6 billion). These two programs and a third grant program funded prior to FY2008 from LWCF—FWS State and Tribal Wildlife Grants—have received more than three-quarters ($2.1 billion, 78%) of the total appropriations for other purposes. The appropriations to date are $882.0 million for Forest Legacy (34% of the other purposes total), $772.5 million for Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (28% of total), and $448.5 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (17% of total).

Grants under the Forest Legacy program are used to acquire lands or conservation easements to preserve private forests threatened by conversion to non-forest uses, such as agriculture or residences. FS provides matching grants to states through a competitive process that requires state approval and then national approval and ranking. The ranking is based on the importance of the project (potential public benefits from protection), the likelihood of the forest's conversion to non-forest uses, and the strategic relevance of the project. The program is implemented primarily through state partners, usually state forestry agencies. State partners generally acquire, hold, and administer the easements or land purchases, although the federal government also may do so.19

Figure 2. Types of Other Purposes, FY1998-FY2018

(in millions of dollars, not adjusted for inflation)

Source: Graphic created by CRS. The primary source for the data is the DOI Office of Budget. Additional sources of information include the annual DOI Budget in Brief and congressional documents accompanying the annual Interior appropriations bill.

Note: Some programs reflected in this figure (e.g., the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund and State and Tribal Wildlife grants) have received appropriations from sources in addition to the LWCF. Other sources of funding have included the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury.

The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund provides grants "for species and habitat conservation actions on nonfederal lands, including habitat acquisition, conservation planning, habitat restoration, status surveys, captive propagation and reintroduction, research, and education."20 In addition to appropriations from LWCF, the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund typically receives additional appropriations. In recent years, the appropriations from LWCF generally have been used for two types of land acquisition grants provided to state and territories on a matching basis. Recovery land acquisition grants have been made for acquisition of habitats in support of species recovery goals and objectives.21 Habitat conservation plan land acquisition grants have been made for acquisition of lands that are associated with habitat conservation plans.22

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants are provided to states, territories, and tribes to develop and implement programs for the benefit of fish and wildlife and their habitats, including nongame species. State and Tribal Wildlife Grants received funding from the LWCF for FY2001-FY2007; subsequently, funding has been provided from the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury. Currently, the largest portion of the program is for formula grants to states and territories on a matching basis. Funds from the formula grants may be used to develop state conservation plans and to implement specific conservation projects. Smaller amounts of funding have been appropriated for competitive grants to states and territories, and to tribal governments. The competitive grant programs do not have matching requirements.23

Appendix A shows the total LWCF appropriations for other purposes summed from FY1998 to FY2018. Appendix B shows the other purposes that received LWCF appropriations each year, the amount of LWCF appropriations for each purpose, and the total annual appropriations for other purposes.


Appendix A. Total LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes

Table A-1. Total LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes by Agency and Activity, FY1998-FY2018

(in thousands of dollars, not adjusted for inflation)

Agency and Programs

Total

BLM

Maintenance

34,945

Payments in Lieu of Taxesa

49,890

BLM, Subtotal

84,835

FWS

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund

722,513

Deferred Maintenance

44,945

Landowner Incentive Program

136,477

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Fund

19,956

Private Stewardship Grants

38,800

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants

448,504

FWS, Subtotal

1,411,195

NPS

Deferred Maintenance

74,890

Elwha Ecosystem Restoration

10,000

Historic Preservation Fund

14,967

Urban Park and Recreation Fund

19,956

NPS, Subtotal

119,813

USGS

Surveys, Investigations, and Research

19,956

USGS, Subtotal

19,956

BIA

Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements

7,949

BIA, Subtotal

7,949

FS

Forest Legacy

881,952

Other

90,612

FS, Subtotal

972,564

Total

2,616,312

Sources: The primary source for the data is the DOI Office of Budget. Additional sources include the annual DOI Budget in Brief and congressional documents accompanying the annual Interior appropriations bill.

Notes: BLM = Bureau of Land Management, FWS = Fish and Wildlife Service, NPS = National Park Service, USGS = United States Geological Survey, BIA = Bureau of Indian Affairs, FS = Forest Service. In general, figures reflect rescissions, transfers, and sequestration (FY2013). Figures reflect current dollars.

a. This program affects multiple agencies in the Department of the Interior and agencies in other departments. It formerly was managed by BLM but now is managed as a DOI department-wide program.

Appendix B. Annual LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes

Table B-1. Annual LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes, by Agency and Activity, FY1998-FY2018

(in thousands of dollars, not adjusted for inflation)

Annual LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes, FY1998-FY2004

Agency and Programs

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

BLM

Maintenance

10,000

0

0

24,945

0

0

0

Payments in Lieu of Taxesa

0

0

0

49,890

0

0

0

BLM, Subtotal

10,000

0

0

74,835

0

0

0

FWS

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund

0

0

0

77,828

0

51,049

49,384

Deferred Maintenance

20,000

0

0

24,945

0

0

0

Landowner Incentive Program

0

0

0

0

40,000

-181

29,630

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Fund

0

0

0

19,956

0

0

0

Private Stewardship Grants

0

0

0

0

10,000

-65

7,408

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants

0

0

0

49,890

59,800

64,665

69,137

FWS, Subtotal

20,000

0

0

172,619

109,800

115,468

155,559

NPS

Deferred Maintenance

20,000

0

5,000

49,890

0

0

0

Elwha Ecosystem Restoration

0

0

10,000

0

0

0

0

Historic Preservation Fund

0

0

0

14,967

0

0

0

Urban Park and Recreation Fund

0

0

0

19,956

0

0

0

NPS, Subtotal

20,000

0

15,000

84,813

0

0

0


USGS

Surveys, Investigations, and Research

0

0

0

19,956b

0

0

0

USGS, Subtotal

0

0

0

19,956

0

0

0

BIA

Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements

0

0

0

0

0

2,981

4,968

BIA, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

2,981

4,968

FS

Forest Legacy

0

0

5,000

29,934

0

0

64,134

Other

22,000c

0

0

73,837d

-5,225

0

0

FS, Subtotal

22,000

0

5,000

103,771e

-5,225

0

64,134

Total, Fiscal Year

72,000

0

20,000

455,994

104,575

118,449

224,661

Annual LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes, FY2005-FY2011

Agency and Programs

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

BLM

Maintenance

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Payments in Lieu of Taxesa

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BLM, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FWS

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund

48,698

60,136

60,136

48,997

54,694f

56,000

30,938

Deferred Maintenance

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Landowner Incentive Program

21,694

21,667

23,667

0

0

0

0

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Private Stewardship Grants

6,903

7,277

7,277

0

0

0

0

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants

69,028

67,492

68,492

0

0

0

0

FWS, Subtotal

146,323

156,572

159,572

48,997

54,694

56,000

30,938

NPS

Deferred Maintenance

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Elwha Ecosystem Restoration

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Historic Preservation Fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Urban Park and Recreation Fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

NPS, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

USGS

Surveys, Investigations, and Research

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

USGS, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


BIA

Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BIA, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FS

Forest Legacy

57,134

56,536

56,536

52,317

49,445

76,460

52,894

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FS, Subtotal

57,134

56,536

56,536

52,317

49,445

76,460

52,894

Total, Fiscal Year

203,457

213,108

216,108

101,314

104,139

132,460

83,832

Annual LWCF Appropriations for Other Purposes, FY2012-FY2018

Agency and Programs

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

BLM

Maintenance

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Payments in Lieu of Taxesa

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BLM, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FWS

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund

24,960

23,655

27,400

27,400

30,800

30,800

19,638

Deferred Maintenance

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Landowner Incentive Program

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North American Wetlands Conservation Act Fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Private Stewardship Grants

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FWS, Subtotal

24,960

23,655

27,400

27,400

30,800

30,800

19,638

NPS

Deferred Maintenance

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Elwha Ecosystem Restoration

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Historic Preservation Fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Urban Park and Recreation Fund

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

NPS, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

USGS

Surveys, Investigations, and Research

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

USGS, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BIA

Indian Land and Water Claim Settlements

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BIA, Subtotal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FS

Forest Legacy

53,303

50,515

50,965

53,000

62,347

50,345

61,087

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

FS, Subtotal

53,303

50,515

50,965

53,000

62,347

50,345

61,087

Total, Fiscal Year

78,263

74,170

78,365

80,400

93,147

81,145

80,725

Source: The primary source for the data is the DOI Office of Budget. Additional sources of information include the annual DOI Budget in Brief and congressional documents accompanying the annual Interior appropriations bill.

Notes: BLM = Bureau of Land Management, FWS = Fish and Wildlife Service, NPS = National Park Service, USGS = United States Geological Survey, BIA = Bureau of Indian Affairs, FS = Forest Service. In general, figures reflect rescissions, transfers, and sequestration (FY2013). Figures are in current dollars.

a. This program affects multiple agencies in the Department of the Interior and agencies in other departments. It formerly was managed by BLM, but now is managed as a department-wide program through the Office of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

b. The appropriations were for science and cooperative programs.

c. This figure reflects appropriations for maintenance, including $12.0 million for repair and maintenance of the Beartooth Highway as part of the Crown Butte/New World Mine land acquisition.

d. This figure reflects $50.0 million for deferred maintenance, $20.0 million for the National Forest System for inventory and monitoring activities and planning, and $4.0 million for State and Private Forestry for urban and community forestry programs, with rescissions.

e. The total FY2001 FS appropriation from the LWCF was $254.6 million. This total, and the appropriations reflected in this table for FS other programs, does not reflect a reduction of $153.1 million for funds not "warranted" from LWCF. The Government Accountability Office defines warrant as "An official document that the Secretary of the Treasury issues upon enactment of an appropriation that establishes the amount of moneys authorized to be withdrawn from the central accounts that the Department of the Treasury maintains." See U.S. Government Accountability Office, A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process, p. 101, September 2005, on the agency's website at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05734sp.pdf.

f. This figure does not reflect a $4.5 million rescission of prior-year balances.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist in Natural Resources Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

1.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of September 3, 1964 (P.L. 88-578; 78 Stat. 897). The text of the law had been codified at 16 U.S.C. §§460l-4 et seq. It was recodified under P.L. 113-287 to 54 U.S.C. §§200301 et seq.

2.

P.L. 88-578, §1(b).

3.

P.L. 88-578, §1(b).

4.

For a discussion of issues related to a September 30, 2018, expiration of provisions of the LWCF Act, see CRS In Focus IF10323, Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): Frequently Asked Questions Related to Provisions Scheduled to Expire on September 30, 2018, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

5.

§105, Division C, P.L. 109-432.

6.

Nearly all of these appropriations have been discretionary appropriations under the LWCF Act. Specifically, of the total appropriation of $40.0 billion through FY2018, $75.0 million were mandatory appropriations under GOMESA.

7.

Figures on total receipts, total appropriations, and the unappropriated balance were derived primarily from data provided by the Department of the Interior Office of Budget. Additional sources of information include the annual DOI Budget in Brief and congressional documents accompanying the annual Interior appropriations bill.

8.

In this report, in some cases the figures do not sum to the totals provided or the percentages do not correspond precisely to the numbers provided due to rounding.

54 U.S.C. §200306(a).

9.

An interest is something less than full ownership, such as a conservation easement or minerals.

10.

See, for example, H.R. 2863 and §5102 of S. 1460. These measures also authorize funding from the LWCF for the American Battlefield Protection Program, currently appropriated from the LWCF through the NPS account for Land Acquisition and State Assistance.

The Forest Legacy Program provides matching grants to states for acquisition of lands or easements to preserve private forests threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. LWCF appropriations for Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation grants generally have been provided to states and territories on a matching basis for land acquisition. These two programs are discussed in more detail under the "Types of Purposes" section of this report.

11.

This program compensates counties and local governments for nontaxable lands within their jurisdictions. For additional information, see CRS Report RL31392, PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified, by [author name scrubbed].

12.

See H.R. 5170.

13.

See H.R. 343.

14.

For additional background on the LWCF, see CRS Report RL33531, Land and Water Conservation Fund: Overview, Funding History, and Issues, by [author name scrubbed].

15.

FY1998 was the first year that LWCF total appropriations exceeded the authorized level of $900 million. The only other year in which total LWCF appropriations exceeded the authorized level was FY2001, with total appropriations of $995 million.

16.

The $969 million appropriated in FY1998 was included in the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998 (P.L. 105-83). The law contained $270 million in the usual funding titles for land acquisition by the four federal land management agencies and the state grant program (administration only), and $699 million in a new Title V (entitled "Priority Land Acquisitions, Land Exchanges, and Maintenance").

17.

In a number of cases, presidents have sought LWCF funding for more other purposes than Congress has chosen to fund. For instance, for FY2005 President Bush requested funding for 15 other purposes within the BLM, FWS, NPS, FS, and DOI's Departmental Management. The FY2005 appropriations law contained funding for five other purposes.

18.

When not funded by the LWCF, these programs have often received appropriations from other sources. Depending on the program, these sources may have included discretionary appropriations from the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury, discretionary appropriations from special funds, or mandatory appropriations. Further, programs have sometimes received funding from both the LWCF and another source (e.g., for Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation grants).

19.

For additional information on Forest Legacy, see CRS Report RL31065, Forestry Assistance Programs, by [author name scrubbed]; and FS, "Forest Legacy Program," at http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml.

20.

DOI, FWS, Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2019, p. CESCF-2, at https://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2019.

21.

LWCF funding was not provided for this type of grant in FY2018, although these grants received other appropriations.

22.

FWS, "Endangered Species: Grants/Grant Programs," at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/grants/grant-programs.html.

23.

Provisions for the program are contained in annual appropriations laws; the program has no separate authorizing statute. Note that the program operated somewhat differently during the years when it received an appropriation from LWCF (FY2001-FY2007).