Mission: To help policy makers at the federal, state, and local levels and their partners evaluate the success of investments made by the Land and Water Conservation Fund over its half-century of existence.
Background: For more than fifty-five years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program established by an act of Congress in 1965 and today administered by the National Park Service, has functioned as America's premier land conservation and outdoor recreation access program. To that end, the program supports the protection of federal public lands and waters — including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas — as well as voluntary conservation efforts on private land. To assist in advancing those goals, LWCF draws on a broad-based coalition of support and oversight, including the National Parks Conservation Association, Environment America, Wilderness Society, Land Trust Alliance, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, and Conservation Fund. Over its more than half-century in existence, the fund has made thousands of successful investments. The program's interactive past project map provides convenient access to a comprehensive database of those investments across all ten LWCF programs — one that is digital, public-facing, and user-friendly.
Outstanding Web Features: LWCF partnered with the Trust for Public Land to track information on the projects it had funded over its history, including fee and easement acquisitions by federal, state, and local agencies and state and local park development projects. Nearly a hundred and fifty thousand digital records compiled from several sources, including publicly available digital geographic records, tabular data, and information from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service, serve as the basis of the map. Projects included in the map are color-coded by type, program, or agency and, when clicked on, generate a pop-up box with summary information (project name, sponsor or agency, LWCF funding, etc.). An expandable menu below the map allows visitors to search the database via state, county, congressional district, and/or program and to generate a PDF report of the search results. Visitors also can review specific programs via the LWCF programs page or check out a data information/access page for more on the methodology behind the project.