LWCF Change of Use Process
If an LWCF project sponsor desires to significantly change the use or scope of an existing project, a Change of Use approval by the National Park Service (NPS)will be required.
NPS approval is not necessarily required, however, for each and every use change. Relatively minor changes that do not significantly alter the recreation experiences at a particular site may not require NPS approval. But NPS must review significant changes of use, including changes resulting from obsolescence, in advance of their occurrence.
Project sponsors contemplating changes to their project are advised to contact State Parks LWCF program staff for guidance prior to making the change. See LWCF CONTACTS page for LWCF Program staff contact information.
Change of Use Review Process:
To initiate the review process for proposed changes of use, the project sponsor must first contact State Parks. State Parks then has two options:
• If the proposed change will clearly have minimal impacts on the project’s intended uses, State Parks can notify the project sponsor that the change is permissible.
• If the proposed change may or will have significant impacts on the intended recreational uses of the project, State Parks must request NPS review.
NPS will especially be looking at whether the proposed change is consistent with the priorities described in Colorado’s current Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Proposed changes that do not provide for public outdoor recreation use will definitely constitute a conversion. Conversions require NPS approval and the substitution of replacement land and/or facilities in accordance with Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act.
Amendments approved by NPS become part of the agreement and supercede it in the specified matters. Amendments are required for changes in LWCF funding, significant changes in the project scope, to extend the project period, changes in the project boundaries, or for correction of errors.
Project sponsors are required to maintain their LWCF-funded properties in some form of outdoor recreation use. However, they are not required to continue operation of a particular recreation facility beyond its useful life. If the facility is declared obsolete, the project sponsor is not obligated to replace it. If State Parks determines that the facility is needed to satisfy the intent of the project agreement but has been lost through neglect or inadequate maintenance, then the sponsor must replace the facility with one that is at least equivalent to the current value of the original investment. NPS must approve determinations of obsolescence.
Conversions of Use:
A conversion in use happens when any portion of an LWCF-funded site, no matter how small, will be used for a purpose other than the intended outdoor recreation use per the project agreement. Such conversions must be approved by the NPS pursuant to the terms of Section 6(f)(3) of the LWCF Act.
Regardless of the reasons for an LWCF conversion, the project sponsor must mitigate the loss of the property through substitution of other outdoor recreation properties. Conversions require an amendment to the project agreement, submitted by State Parks to NPS. Conversions must meet a complex set of requirements. Project sponsors are strongly encouraged to contact State Parks LWCF Program staff to consider the implications of a conversion BEFORE the use of the property is changed.
Click on this link for a detailed description of the LWCF Change of Use Process.