The midterm congressional election was bruising in Montana and nationwide. Fortunately, conservation was one issue that was not a point of contention in these divided political times. Montana saw the re-election of Senator Jon Tester and Representative Greg Gianforte, both of whom are on record supporting several important Montana conservation priorities. Immediately after the election, Congress returned to Washington for a “lame duck” session that will continue through adjournment in December. MWF and our conservation partners will be watching closely and working tirelessly to get several Montana priorities enacted in this crucial window of time.
Restoring the Land and Water Conservation Fund
At the end of September, Congress allowed the 50-year old Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to expire. LWCF is one of the nation’s most important programs, funding the acquisition of public land and public access. In Montana, the program has funded projects in every county of the state, including everything from wilderness lands to local soccer fields. It has been crucial to our state’s unmatched access to the outdoors and abundant wildlife populations.
Unfortunately, the authorization for LWCF expired at the end of September, endangering future conservation projects. Senator Jon Tester has long been a champion for permanent authorization and full funding for LWCF, and in recent months he has been joined by both Senator Steve Daines and Representative Greg Gianforte in supporting this important Montana priority. LWCF also enjoys broad, bipartisan support nationwide.
During the closing weeks of the year, MWF will be working with our partners in Montana and across the nation to secure permanent reauthorization and full funding for LWCF.