Montanans are fortunate to have great access opportunities to our public lands and waters.
For hunters and anglers, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provides critical funding to maintain and improve access to our public lands, protect open space and establish new trails, parks, and other areas where Montanans can recreate.
Since its passage in 1965, Montana has received over $600 million from LWCF for projects around the state, but permanent funding was never guaranteed. Permanent reauthorization of LWCF in March was an important step forward, but the job isn’t done. Congress must now appropriate the money. Projects around the country still need full and dedicated funding to invest in communities, improve access to landlocked public lands and maintain working forests and landscapes.
Our Senators, Jon Tester and Steve Daines, should be commended for championing Senate 1081 that provides for full and dedicated funding of LWCF. Representative Gianforte has been disappointingly silent on a similar Bill in the House (H.R. 3195). I hope that the Congressman will quickly join our Senators and work together to swiftly pass legislation to fully fund LWCF and ensure that our opportunities to hunt and fish are protected for future generations.