More than 200 Montana sportsmen and women delivered a letter to Senator Jon Tester, Senator Steve Daines, and Representative Greg Gianforte today calling on them to support the full funding and reauthorization of Land and Water Conservation Fund(LWCF).
LWCF, which expired over the weekend, supports land acquisition, conservation easements, and other projects that provide public access for hunting and fishing, as well as preserving essential wildlife habitat and migration corridors in Montana and across the nation. The 54-year-old conservation program expired when Congress failed to reauthorize it before September 30.
“Congress made a big mistake allowing this program to expire. Montana hunters, anglers, and other outdoors people care deeply about the access and habitat restoration provided by the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said Dave Chadwick Executive Director of Montana Wildlife Federation. He continued, “The importance of LWCF to hunters and anglers in Montana cannot be understated.”
Senator Jon Tester has supported full funding for LWCF for nearly a decade. Last summer, Senator Steve Daines joined Senator Tester in supporting S. 569, a bill that would provide full, permanent funding for the program. On Tuesday, Senator Daines, as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, will have a chance to vote on the bill.
“Senator Daines has a chance to stand with Montanans and help move the ball forward on full-funding and reauthorization of LWCF when he votes tomorrow,” added Chadwick.
The House of Representatives did not pass legislation to reauthorize or fund LWCF before adjourning last week for a six-week break. Rep. Gianforte supports legislation to reauthorize LWCF but does not yet support legislation to fully fund the program.