U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today cosponsored a bipartisan legislative lands package that benefits Montana including permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.
“This would be one of the biggest accomplishments for conservation and protection of our public lands in Montana and across our country in decades,” Daines said. “Last month I secured commitment for a vote on this public lands package, and I’m pleased to see it is closer to becoming a reality. I look forward to getting these bills signed into law to help protect our public lands, expand sportsman access, and protect wildlife habitat.”
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After pushing hard for the lands package at the end of last year, Daines secured commitment from bipartisan Senate Leadership for a vote on the package this Congress.
Among several other wins, the public lands package:
- Permanently authorizes LWCF
- Includes the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act which protects the Paradise Valley and Gardiner Basin from development
- Includes the WILD Act which strengthens wildlife conservation by reauthorizing sportsmen’s wildlife conservation programs, assists in the management of invasive species, and promotes anti-poaching programs
- Enacts long-awaited provisions supporting Sportsmen’s access and heritage
- Allows the permitting or leasing of public land for shooting ranges and target ranges
- Strengthens partnerships with our national parks by authorizing the Every Kid Outdoors program and the 21st Century Conservation Corps
- Requires federal agencies to manage and enhance wildlife species and habitats that respects statement management authority and private property rights
- Facilitates an “open until closed policy” on federal land by requiring federal public land to be open for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting unless the Secretary closes an area for public safety or applicable to other laws and only in consultation with state fish and wildlife agencies through public notice and comment
- Curtails obstructive litigation by requiring publishing of EAJA and Judgment Fund payments issued