03.09.20

Daines Introduces Historic Bipartisan Bill to Fully and Permanently Fund LWCF, Address National Park Backlog

Introduction Follows Daines Securing President Trump’s Support for the Bill

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced a bipartisan bill, the Great American Outdoors Act, which will provide full, mandatory funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the maintenance backlog in our national parks and forests. The introduction of the legislation follows a meeting Daines held with President Trump and Leader McConnell to secure their support for the historic conservation effort.

“As Montana’s voice in the U.S. Senate, I’ve made it one of my top priorities to protect and expand access to our public lands and our Montana outdoor way of life,” Daines said. “This historic bipartisan effort will fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and address the maintenance backlog in our national parks and forests. I thank President Trump for his support in getting this done and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this historic conservation win signed into law.”

Daines’ new bill requires full, mandatory funding of LWCF at $900 million. Daines’ bill also helps fix the $11.9 billion maintenance backlog facing national parks across the nation, including over $700 million in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.

To read the full bill click HERE.

Daines received statements of support from the following organizations: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Glacier National Park, Outdoor Alliance, Montana Trails, Recreation & Park Association, Montana Association of Land Trusts, Montana Trout Unlimited, the National Wildlife Federation, American Hiking Society, the Conservation Fund, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, The Corps Network, National Park Hospitality Association, National Park Foundation, RV Industry Association, Outdoor Industry Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, National Trust for Historic Preservation and F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber.

To read the full statements of support, click HERE.

Background: 

Daines is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on National Parks. Daines sits on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee which have jurisdiction over LWCF.

Daines was the only member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee last year to voice his disappointment with LWCF’s funding levels.

Daines has been a leading voice in the U.S. Senate for LWCF funding and protection of our public lands. In 2015, Daines was hailed as a “Conservative Conservationist” for his strong support of conservation policies.

Last year, under Daines’ leadership in the U.S. Senate, President Trump signed into law a historic bipartisan public lands package which included the permanent authorization of LWCF.

 In December of 2019, President Trump signed into law the highest level of funding of LWCF since 2003 at $495 million.

Last week, President Trump issued statements supporting Daines’ work on LWCF, and commitment to sign legislation into law. Leader McConnell also issued a supportive statement of Daines’ work.

Daines recent actions this Congress include:

On March 4th, 2020, Daines announced new legislation that will provide full, mandatory funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the maintenance backlog in our national parks.

 On November 19th, 2019, Daines advanced a slate of key Montana priorities out of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee including bipartisan bills that permanently and fully fund LWCF and help fix the maintenance backlog issue facing national parks.

On October 31st, 2019, Daines secured and advanced a $30 million increase in funding for the LWCF out of the U.S. Senate, which would bring the fund to $465 million.

On September 17th, 2019, Daines wrote Senate and House leadership urging full and permanent funding for LWCF.

On September 5th, 2019, Daines announced that $1,611,602 in grants from LWCF will be directed towards Montana to support public access, outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

On May 5th, 2019, Daines wrote a letter to U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Committee Leadership urging the full funding of the LWCF and to build on momentum for stronger funding in the Senate bill.

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 LWCF and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act. 

On February 26th, 2019, House leadership responded to Daines’ request and passed the public lands package with critical Montana wins.

On February 12th, 2019, Daines secured Senate passage of the landmark bipartisan public lands package that includes permanent reauthorization of LWCF, and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act among other provisions important to conservation and public access to public lands.

On February 14th, 2019, Daines secured a $10 million increase for 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.                                             

To learn more about Senator Daines’ efforts to protect our public lands and promote outdoor recreation, click HERE

 

###