Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced Oregon will receive more than $4.3 million from the Department of the Interior to support future outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

“Oregon is home to some of the most treasured natural beauty in our nation where Oregonians and visitors from all over the world can experience the great outdoors,” said Wyden, who is the lead sponsor for the Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act and the Recreation Not Red Tape Act“Outdoor recreation creates jobs and supports rural economies all across the state. I’m gratified to see these dollars go into conserving Oregon’s public lands so families can enjoy them for generations to come, and small businesses in our rural communities can continue to benefit.”

“Coming together to protect our state’s natural wonders will ensure future generations of Oregonians are able to enjoy our incredible public lands,” said Merkley, who is Chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. “By funding outdoor recreation and conservation projects, we can create more jobs, grow economies, and keep our public lands accessible for years to come.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fundsupports increased access to and protection for federal public lands and waters — including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas — and provides grants to Tribal, state and local governments to support the acquisition and development of land for public parks and other outdoor recreation sites. 

Along with this year’s fund distribution, the National Park Service is releasing an update to the fund manual that directs states to work more closely with Tribes and underserved communities to create parks and make recreation accessible in those communities.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund helps further President Biden’s commitment to investing in America’s lands and waters, expanding access to the outdoors, and safeguarding the environment,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “These grants, matched primarily by state and local governments, will inspire collaborative conservation and improves equitable access to the outdoors for all.”

“All communities are deserving of local outdoor recreation,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “Through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the National Park Service is proud to help communities and local governments upgrade and create new outdoor spaces that are most beneficial and enriching to their community, so that everyone is able to take part in outdoor recreation close to home.”