Recreation Funding

One of the ways The Wilderness Society promotes recreation on public lands is to work for more funding for recreation programs run by the federal government.

The amount of federal money available for recreation has a big impact on the quality of the recreation experiences for Americans.

This money pays for:

  • Trail maintenance
  • Recreation facilities
  • Other recreation-related costs on lands run by agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management

The Wilderness Society works for adequate funding for recreation programs because recreation programs:

  • Connect people to the outdoors
  • Provide a higher quality of life
  • Stimulate the active outdoor recreation economy.

Funding for federal land management agencies has been relatively flat through 2012 and big funding cuts are expected in the future.

Forest Recreation Funding

More than 50,000 people recreate on national forest trails every year. Funding these trails is critical for upkeep and to keep our outdoor recreation economy booming. 

Funding for Recreation on BLM Lands

Americans love the western lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and they would recreate more on BLM lands if only there were more trails. We're working to expand the system so more people can enjoy the wonders of our unique western wildlands. 

Read more about our work on the recreation budgets of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

  • Michael Reinemer

    Rather than using taxpayer dollars, the program’s funds come from a small slice of royalties from oil and gas leases in publicly owned offshore waters. 

    The 2017 budget would invest $900 million for conservation and recreation projects, which is the annual amount authorized by the 1964 bill that created this popular program. However, actual funding approved by Congress has traditionally fallen far short of that amount. 

    Alan Rowsome at The Wilderness Society commented:

  • Anonymous

    “The proposed guidelines from the Bureau of Land Management governing natural gas waste are a huge step forward toward ensuring public resources on federal lands are used for Americans’ benefit, and not wasted.

    “For too long, oil and gas companies have been able to vent and flare unlimited quantities of natural gas and ignore massive leaks from outdated infrastructure. These unregulated actions have immense consequences for American taxpayers, who lose out on more than $330 million annually from gas that is not being sold.

  • Jennifer Dickson

    The 2016 Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI) draft released by Utah Representative Rob Bishop fails to provide adequate protections for scenic public lands in the state, would undermine bedrock environmental laws and threatens to despoil key public lands.