U.S. CONGRESS — U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke today announced $2 million in funding for the Whitefish Lake Watershed Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Project.
The funding is made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
“It’s great news that we were able to secure additional funds to help protect Montana’s natural resources and preserve it for future generations,” Daines stated. “The Whitefish Lake Watershed Project is another example of the critical role LWCF in conservation and recreation in our local communities.”
“I am thrilled that Montana’s Congressional delegation was able to come together and secure these funds for the Whitefish Lake Watershed Project,” Tester said. “Folks come from around the world to see the beauty of Whitefish Lake and thanks to LWCF and the Whitefish Lake Watershed Project this land will be preserved for future generations of sportsmen and women.”
“This grant is proof of what’s possible when our delegation works together,” said Zinke. “Growing up in Whitefish, I developed a special appreciation for both our land and water and the timber industry and how the two can complement each other. I’m happy to see this project succeed and will continue to be a fighter for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in Congress.”
“Thank you to Senator Tester, Senator Daines, and Congressman Zinke for their continued support of conservation efforts in Montana. This $2 million grant will help further the large scale, partnership-based conservation efforts being undertaken by the Montana Department of Natural Resources. The grant will help support Montana’s incredible natural heritage for future generations and contribute to conservation of Canada lynx, bull trout, grizzly bears and other federally-listed species.” said Noreen Walsh, Regional Director, Mountain-Prairie Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This conservation easement on this Weyerhauser property will greatly complement conservation efforts for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Habitat Conservation Plan and efforts by the U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program supported by the delegation. It will help protect habitat of iconic wildlife species while ensuring the property remains in timber production and provides public access for hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and other ways of outdoor recreation, all critical to the local economy.
On May 20, 2016 the delegation urged the FWS to prioritize the Whitefish Lake Watershed Project. The letter is available to download HERE.