Land and Water Conservation Fund facing cuts

Jana Benscoter
York Dispatch
A young black bear forages for food along Abrams Falls Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Evangelical Environmental Network is trying to convince lawmakers to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

More:Environmentalist Christians: Caring for God's creation

Taxpayers do not fund it. Rather, it's funded by a portion of offshore drilling fees. However, officials say the Land and Water Conservation Fund hasn't received its annual $900 million as promised.  

The fund supports the acquisition of land and conservation easements, and its mission includes protecting national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, trails and federal Bureau of Land Management sites; granting funds to the states for local and state park needs; and protecting critical wildlife habitat, watersheds and recreational access.

Also, it supports conservation of working farms, ranches and forest lands that enhance local economies.

Lawmakers are currently reviewing how much they are going to allocate to the U.S. Department of the Interior, which provides money to the fund. It's speculated that up to 11 percent of the Interior's budget could be cut in 2018.