State receives $1.1 million in federal funding for recreation and conservation

Courtesy: Senator Carl Levin’s Office

Michigan will receive more than $1.1 million for outdoor recreation and conservation projects from the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the Interior Department, Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced Tuesday.

“From its lakes and streams to its forests and meadows to its beaches and trails, Michigan is rich in natural gifts,” Levin said. “Our land and waters are precious, and this funding will help our state make those treasures available for public enjoyment now and for generations to come.”

“Our beautiful public lands, parks and waterways offer unparalleled recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling,” Stabenow said. “These activities are not only part of our way of life, but they are critical to our economy. This support will allow more Michigan families and tourists to enjoy our great outdoors.”

More than $43 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund will be distributed to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources will receive $1,126,519, which it can use for recreation planning, acquisition of lands and waters, and enhancement of facilities to enable more people to enjoy the outdoors.

Levin and Stabenow are cosponsors of S. 338, the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013, which would establish full and permanent funding of $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In addition, the legislation would require at least 1.5% of the funding be used for projects that improve access to federal land for hunting, fishing and other recreational purposes.

Revenues for the Land and Water Conservation Fund come primarily from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. Since Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 1964, more than $4 billion has been allocated to state and local governments, and Michigan has received more than $131 million.