Land & Water Conservation Fund Frequently Asked Questions
How was the LWCF Program created?
The LWCF Act was signed into law in September 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The legislation initially utilized monies generated through off shore oil exploration as a reinvestment into the national recreation infrastructure. Monies from off shore oil exploration continue to make up a percentage of the Federal funds used for the program along with monies allocated in the Federal budget. The program is administered at the National level by the US Department of Interior, in consultation with the National Park Service, regional administration located in Atlanta. The Louisiana Office of State Parks, Division of Outdoor Recreation, is tasked with administration of the program for the state of Louisiana.
What is the available funding?
Monies for the LWCF are allocated through the Federal budget and then apportioned to individual states and U.S. territories through the National Park Service. LWCF and RTP is a matching fund reimbursement program. Accordingly, grant recipients must pay 100% of the cost of an item before submitting requests for reimbursement. LWCF provides for a 50/50 match.
These programs encourage donation of private funds, materials, right-of-way, and services at fair market value to be counted toward the match. However, donations of existing State or local government right-of-way cannot be credited toward the local match.
What is the timeline for the application process?
The application deadline is April 1. Applications are reviewed April 1 - 15; sponsors of projects approved at the state level are contacted April 15 through June 1. For a more detailed explanation of the process, click HERE .
What documentation is needed for the application?
Click HERE for a complete list of documents, and examples.
If awarded how will I get the money?
Reimbursements will be made only for those approved scope items that were listed on the Project Agreement and subsequent approved amendments. Normally, requests for reimbursements are processed and funds dispersed within 3 to 5 weeks.
What are the requirements for planning?
Good planning to determine the need and the approach to meet the need is essential for development of a quality recreational facility. LWCF applications are evaluated through the Open Project Selection Process (OPSP) with credit given to those applications indicating quality planning in development of the application. Projects should further a recreational goal identified by the most recent Louisiana Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) or in a local/regional comprehensive plan.
Who is not eligible to apply?
Project sponsors with responsibility of a previously assisted LWCF site that has been found to have serious compliance issues with Federal regulations as detailed in Chapter 8 of the LWCF Manual are not eligible to apply for new assistance. Resolution of serious compliance issues must be addressed before additional assistance is made available.
Project sponsors with currently active LWCF grants within their jurisdiction are not eligible to apply. Projects under their sponsorship must have achieved completion of the scope of work as identified in the State Agreement and have submitted all closeout documentation no later than the preceding December 31st to allow the required 90-day period to achieve closeout through the National Park Service before the annual application deadline of April 1st. In other words, a sponsor with an active project must have completed all work and submitted closeout materials by December 31, 2021 in order to be eligible to apply by April 1, 2022.
What type of projects are permitted in the LWCF?
Grant recipients obtaining assistance through the LWCF may engage in projects such as:
- Acquisition of fee simple title to property from a willing seller, and or acquisition by Act of Donation;
- Construction of new outdoor recreation facilities, support elements and trails on Sponsor owned land (state, parish, or municipal lands), where a recreational need is shown;
- Renovation or reconstruction of existing outdoor recreation facilities;
- Structure design or engineering, site design or GPS mapping when included within professional design fees (not to exceed 10% of grant);
- Development and site work activities such as: subgrade preparation, base course, soil sterilization, earthwork, minor drainage or erosion control, re-vegetation, natural and hardened surfacing, culverts, low-water crossings, bank improvements, retaining walls, guard rails, and hand rails, pedestrian bridges, boardwalks;
- Providing or improve access and use of facilities by persons with disabilities.
What types of projects are not permitted for assistance through LWCF?
A grant recipient may not use monies received under this Program for:
- Planning or environmental documentation.
- Condemnation of any kind of interest in property.
- Construction of indoor facilities other than those that qualify as support facilities
- Construction of facilities outside of the LWCF 6(f) boundaries
- Storm water management or drainage and irrigation
- Mitigation Plans or mitigation credits
What are the recommended LWCF project guidelines?
Projects selected for funding should:
- Further an outdoor recreation -related goal in the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) or sponsor's regional master plan;
- Include a commitment for maintenance and long-term public access;
- Be sponsored by a qualifying political subdivision or state agency who is also the land owner;
- Be in a political subdivision with good standing regarding maintenance and compliance issues of previously assisted LWCF sites
- Include a commitment to starting and completing the project quickly and efficiently;
- Plan to submit construction plans and specifications prepared and certified by registered professionals: Engineer, Architect and/or Landscape Architect who insure that the plans and specifications meet all applicable federal, state and local codes, current engineering standards and meet or exceed all ADA standards; that health, safety, durability and economy received consideration consistent with the scope and objectives of the project.