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About the Fund
The 1965 LWCF Act
Forest Service Contacts for LWCF

USDA Forest Service,
Lands and Realty Staff

1400 Independence Ave., SW
Mailstop 1124
Washington, DC 20250-1124
Phone: (202) 205-1248

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LWCF Purchases

On this page you can learn about the LWCF Fund, request to nominate a project, and access the LWCF Map Viewer

The Land and Water Conservation Fund and Your National Forests

Image of Dakota Prarie National Grasslands in North Dakota.Created by Congress in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provides money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the the benefit of all Americans. From majestic forests and snowcapped mountains, to wild rivers and stunning beaches, these acquisitions become part of your national forests. Lands and waters purchased through the LWCF are used to:
  • Provide recreational opportunities
  • Provide clean water
  • Preserve wildlife habitat
  • Enhance scenic vistas
  • Protect archaeological and historical sites
  • Maintain the pristine nature of wilderness areas

Image of Etowah watershed in Georgia.Land is bought from landowners at fair-market value (unless the owner chooses to offer the land as a donation or at a bargain price).

The Fund receives money mostly from fees paid by companies drilling offshore for oil and gas. Other funding sources include the sale of surplus federal real estate and taxes on motorboat fuel.

Request for "Core" LWCF Project Nominations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 LWCF

Land acquisition project proposals for the National Forest System go through a competitive two-stage evaluation using the LWCF Core Criteria and Guidance. Proposals are first evaluated at a Regional level using the LWCF Land Acquisition Proposal Criteria and Guidance, then top ranked projects from each Region are forwarded to the Washington office where a national panel evaluates proposals from across the country. The national panel is comprised of an inter-disciplinary team of Washington Office, Regional and Field representatives who use the Criteria and Guidance to evaluate the proposals and then meet to finalize a prioritized list of land acquisition project proposals. Links to the Fiscal Year 2022 call for proposals, the Core Criteria and Guidance, as well as the forms necessary to submit a land acquisition project proposal, are below.

Links to the Fiscal Year 2022 call for proposals, the Core Criteria and Guidance, as well as the forms necessary to submit a land acquisition project proposal, are below.

NOTE: Nominations are due to the Washington Office by October 9, 2020. Please see directions in the Reply Due letter for how to submit proposal packages.

LWCF 2020 Core Nomination Package Training Recordings.

Two training sessions were held for the 2020 LWCF core nomination packages. The trainings were held on April 18 and May 24, 2018. These two recordings are approximately 1.5 hours in length, and are available for viewing by Forest Service employees, partners, and the public. Please refer to these for your 2021 nominations.

LWCF Giving Back to You and Your Community

The Land and Water Conservation Fund gives back to you and your community. Click on the links below to find out more.

USDA Forest Service
Last modified: Saturday, 12-Sep-2020 21:56:09 CDT

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