Budget Message and NASORLO priorities update for the Membership – 3-23-18

I had previously sent the Membership this in Feb. 2018: ….

The next 9 months are crucial in maintaining the momentum to create Equity in the distribution of the LWCF for the states and territories.  We have made significant progress in the past 3 years, but with reauthorization and the budget issues in Congress, we cannot afford to back off from our advocacy.  This advocacy cannot be successful without the involvement of our Members.  Please keep checking our website for information and review the LWCF Took Kit we are uploading soon. 

( A 3-22-18 message to NASORLO )

Thanks to the work of your President, your Board and many NASORLO members, I can now report we are on our way towards that end..

In January our President and key Board members went to meet with key Congressional Members and staff and restated our Congressional Priorities.  They were the following with the recent results in bold.

  • Support the Senate recommendation of $110 M for State Assistance in the FY18 Budget. ( Results: Today’s Budget resolution results – 124 m.. an increase of more than 12 % ! – 100 m state grants, 20 m ORLP and 4 m NPS Admin! )
  • Support continuing the innovative “Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLPP)( Results: Today’s Budget resolution results – 20 m + 60% ! )
  • Ensure the GOMESA allocations to LWCF State Assistance continue Results – a 60 m distribution, separate grant round allocation to be available soon)
  • Support LWCF reauthorization with equity between the State Assistance and federal allocations. ( Results.. We are currently at 28% equity and with GOMESA added in.. we are at 37%.. with a 40% target )

Joel Lynch LWCF Program Coordinator of NPS wrote:

” And to put the $161M (approps+GOMESA) for FY18 into context – the program has not seen these levels in formula funding in over 36 years when $174.4M was apportioned in 1981. Let’s hope we see these levels for many more years to come. Pressure is on all of us to put these funds to good use quickly to demonstrate the need.  

NASORLO has set as additional re-authorization priorities, in addition to seeking full equity for state outdoor recreation grants..

  1. Permit states to use up to 7% of the state allocation for program administration
  2. Delegate more authority to the states to resolve smaller 6(f) conversions
  3. Extend the temporary use provision from 6 mos..to 3 years.

This is an aggressive agenda and will not be easy.  The Administration, and some in Congress, want to replace the normal LWCF state allocations by substitution of GOMESA funds.  Some think the current appropriation does not need to be increased, as the federal need is greater than that for states.  And others seeking NPS Maintenance funds may be eyeing LWCF for that source.  All we are seeking is a state assistance program that addresses the outdoor recreational needs we have in local, urban and state areas and equity in the distribution between state grants and federal uses of the program.

Now for two key tasks for you all.

  1. Keep monitoring our website for information and materials ( we have a LWCF Tool Kit on the website which should provide you with key information and materials ). And be prepared to assist NASORLO on program advocacy when asked.
  2. Consider attending the 2018 Annual Meeting in Manchester NH.. Many of these issues will be discussed, positions created and consensus needed to provide a unified position in our interactions with other LWCF advocates ( including federal supporters ) and Congress. ( All info on the Conference will be posted on the website )

And finally, all of our advocacy comes from the support from our annual Dues.  Please check to see if you have paid them in 2018 ( Our success, or lack thereof.. depends upon these resources ).  Remember, at the request of the membership, we can now take credit card payments..

NASORLO will lead an effort to develop a grass roots advocacy program over the next 18 months.. We have never been very good or very organized to institutionalize a systematic program of targeted information sharing to educate elected officials and others about the value, need and impact of this great program.  We need to do it now and maintain the momentum for the future.

If you have any questions, please contact President Imgrund or myself.  Remember Joel’s last sentence…” Pressure is on all of us to put these funds to good use quickly to demonstrated the need. “