These special places are important not only for their environmental value. According to a recent Outdoor Industry Foundation report, they are important for our struggling economy. Hunting, fishing, camping, climbing, hiking, paddling, mountain biking, wildlife viewing and other activities contribute $730 billion annually to the economy, supporting 6.5 million jobs (1 of every 20 jobs in the United States), and stimulate 8 percent of all consumer spending.
As a result of the LWCF, we are fortunate enough to have these treasured places for our children and grandchildren. But across our nation, important parks, open spaces, recreation lands and wildlife areas are being lost because money designated for the LWCF has been cut or diverted to other programs. LWCF functions by reinvesting some of the revenue from federal offshore oil and gas drilling to permanently protect federal and state parks and other natural areas. In depleting one public resource we help protect another.
We have a duty to take care of these special places. One way for us to fulfill this obligation is to urge our representatives in Congress to fully fund the LWCF. As Theodore Roosevelt put it: "The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value."
The Wilderness Society