Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition Programs
Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program
The Coalition serves as the “watchdog” and chief advocate for funding the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), the most significant conservation program in our state’s history. To date, the Coalition’s work has secured $662 million in competitive WWRP grants that have been awarded to cities, counties, state agencies, tribes and land trusts for over 1,000 state and local parks, trails, farms, shorelines and wildlife areas, encompassing 350,000 acres across the state. Local and federal matching funds bring the total to well over $1 billion.
Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Coalition recently expanded its role in leveraging funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the federal program that inspired us to create the WWRP. LWCF is our nation’s principal funding source for local, state and national parks, trails, wildlife refuges and working forests and ranches. Fighting for funding for LWCF means that our country can continue to invest in transformative projects that will keep our communities vibrant. It also means that our state can continue to receive federal match funding for our most critical projects.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2011, cuts were proposed to funding for the WWRP grant program that threatened to kill the successful statewide grant program. Through tireless work, the Coalition educated policy makers about the importance of this vital program and as a result of our outreach $42 million was restored, protecting funding more than 60 critical park, wildlife and farm projects across the state. Today, we are working to restore the WWRP to $90 million for over 100 projects that will help Washingtonians get outside and protect wildlife habitat.
The LWCF was also nearly eliminated recently. But thanks to the Coalition's broad and diverse partnership, we were able to reach out to policy makers to educate them on the significance of the LWCF. Because of the Coalition's efforts, the LWCF was funded at $323 million in January 2012, an increase of 7%. This victory will fund six critical projects in Washington State and hundreds more across the nation. For these efforts, the Coalition received acclaim from the national LWCF Coalition.
Despite our recent success, the future of funding for the WWRP and LWCF remains in jeopardy. With your support, the Coalition will continue to defend these vital programs so that our communities may benefit from the parks, shorelines, wildlife areas and working farms that make our state such an amazing place to live!