Whether it’s a local park, a favorite trail, a go-to hunting spot or one of the hundreds of fishing access sites throughout the state — benefits of the Land and Water Conservation Fund are seen in nearly every community in Montana. If you are a hunter or a fisherman, you should know that LWCF projects have directly improved habitat and watersheds.
As a business owner, outdoor amenities are crucial to our ability to recruit and retain talent, and to create economic opportunities in our communities. Our public lands also provide the backdrop for a healthy workforce and innovation in our product development. For these reasons, it’s crucial that we unite and let Congress know that we find it unacceptable for the successful and bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund to have expired in September.
Supporting LWCF should be easy; it requires zero dollars from taxpayers, with its funding coming from royalties of offshore oil and gas drilling. Holding LWCF hostage at the expense of businesses and communities is an unfortunate example of how gridlock politics in Washington, D.C., become a threat here at home in Montana. With election season over, it’s now time for Congress to get back to the important work of governing, reaching across the aisle and finding common ground on policies that are essential for sustaining our businesses and our outdoor amenity lifestyle. LWCF is priority number one for Montanans.
One thing that came through unequivocally in this election cycle is that our public lands that are the great unifier across party lines. It’s long past time for Congress to pass legislation that permanently reauthorizes and fully funds LWCF. Join me in pressing our Congressional delegation to get this work done for our economy, jobs and the Montana way of life.