U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, voted in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act, which boosts spending on land and water conservation projects.
Since its creation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s grant program has helped to acquire or preserve some of Southwest Washington’s most iconic spots.
The lands for Beacon Rock State Park and boat facilities were acquired with its funds in 1967 and 1987, respectively.
Land around Mount St. Helens has been preserved through the funding source. The Columbia Land Trust used Forest Legacy Program grants, under the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as a partial funding source to preserve 20,000 acres of working forest near the volcano.
In Clark County, several parks and green spaces were acquired or expanded using the fund. Those include Salmon Creek Park, Lower Washougal River Greenway, Abrams Park, part of the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail and Cold Creek in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, to name a few.
According to the Land & Water Conservation Fund Coalition, Washington has received nearly $700 million in grants from the fund.
InvestigateWest, a Pacific Northwest investigative journalism organization, says at least $3.2 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been used to conserve public spaces in Clark County between 1971 and 2011.