04.09.19

Daines Fights for Mandatory Funding of LWCF

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize full, mandatory funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“The historic bipartisan lands package which permanently maintained our commitment to LWCF was a big win for Montana, but now we must come together again to ensure the program is fully funded,” Daines said. “Expanding access to public lands and preserving the rich outdoor heritage of Montana is one of my highest priorities in the U.S. Senate. I will not stop fighting until we get full funding of LWCF.”

Daines is a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Interior Subcommittee and U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources which has jurisdiction over LWCF funding and authorization. In this role, Daines will continue to fight for full funding of LWCF.

To read the full text of the bill click HERE.

Background:

Daines has long been an advocate for strengthening and preserving LWCF. Early in the 116th Congress, Daines pushed for the bipartisan public lands package, which including the permanent reauthorization of the program, to be passed and signed into law.

On March 12th, 2019, Daines joined President Trump in the White House for the signing of a historic bipartisan lands package which included the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.

On February 14th, 2019, Daines secured a $10 million increase for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), bringing funding for the program to $435 million for 2019.

On January 30th, 2019, Daines successfully convinced Senate leadership to bring the public lands package up for a vote in early in the 116th Congress.

Statements of Support:

“The Trust for Public Land applauds the commitment Sen. Daines continues to demonstrate to LWCF, to the places it protects all across our state and the West, and to the countless Montanans and visitors who depend on LWCF for their outdoor access and experiences.  This bill would guarantee the critical funding to make good on the original promise of LWCF, which was recently affirmed when Congress permanently reauthorized this cornerstone conservation program.   We have seen just how vital that funding is here in Montana, and we appreciate Senator Daines’s leadership in working to secure it.” - Dick Dolan, Northern Rockies Director, The Trust for Public Land

“From increased public land access to protecting working lands and wildlife habitat, all Montanans will benefit from a fully funded, permanently-reauthorized Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). We are heartened by the continued bipartisan efforts to ensure a fully funded LWCF crosses the finish line.” - Barb Cestero, Senior Regional Representative, The Wilderness Society

"The Land and Water Conservation Fund is essential to protecting habitat for wildlife and access for hunters and anglers.  Fully funding LWCF will help protect our outdoor heritage and our outdoor economy.  We thank Senator Daines for working with his colleagues in a bipartisan way to advance this Montana priority." - Dave Chadwick, Executive Director, Montana Wildlife Federation

"The Montana land trust community is pleased to continue to see the Montana delegation lead the charge in Congress for full Land and Water Conservation Fund funding levels. The LWCF is America's premier conservation program and provides significant outdoor recreation, recreational access, conservation, agriculture, forest management and community benefits to Montana and the nation." - Glenn Marx, Executive Director, Montana Association of Land Trusts 

“This is one of the smartest investments Congress can make. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has made a lasting impact in every state in America, spurring increased access and more recreational opportunity. This legislation will send meaningful resources to ground that benefit hunters and anglers for generations to come.” - Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

“RMEF sincerely appreciates Senators Daines, Gardner and Manchin for stepping up with legislation to provide full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. As of early September 2018, LWCF provided more than $108 million in funding that assisted 80 different RMEF land projects that permanently protected more than 152,000 acres of wildlife habitat. This bill will build on the momentum created when the Natural Resources Management Act was signed into law last month, permanently reauthorizing this critical conservation program.” - Kyle Weaver, President and CEO, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

“Simms Fishing Products and other businesses rely on Montana’s healthy outdoor recreation economy and the public lands that fuel it. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a vital component of providing access to public lands and waters for anglers throughout the West and we appreciate Senator Daines efforts to continue pushing for full funding of the program” - K.C. Walsh, Chairman, Simms Fishing Products

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