Daines visits trail project site ahead of vote for permanent LWCF funding

MISSOULA, Mont. — Sen. Steve Daines is one of more than 50 senators hoping to see the Great American Outdoors Act pass in the U.S. Senate next month. He calls it one of the greatest conservation acts in decades and on Wednesday visited one of the Montana sites it would fund.

The Lolo Phase II Trail LWCF Project is a priority project for fiscal year 2021. It would add about 8,000 acres to the existing site near Lolo. It’s just one that would be funded by the LWCF if the act gets through the Senate, House and then signed by President Donald Trump.

Daines and Sen. Jon Tester are co-sponsors of the bipartisan measure, along with 56 other senators. It would require full mandatory funding of LWCF paid for by revenues from oil, gas, coal and other energies developed on federal lands and water. Daines says Trump told him he will sign it if they can get it to his desk.

Tester’s office says the LWCF has invested more than $540 million in Montana’s $7.1 billion outdoor economy. Daines says it’s also funded 70% of Montana’s fishing access sites.

Mandatory full and permanent funding of the LWCF has never passed the Senate.

Daines says the act also addresses a $12 billion maintenance backlog at our national parks.

The bill will be up for a vote on the Senate floor in June. You can read the full language here.