In 1965, in a bipartisan effort, Congress passed the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The principle was simple: We needed protect natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, to provide all Americans the opportunity to recreate outdoors. To do that, we use the royalties paid to the government by offshore oil and gas companies to directly fund such programs.
Montana has benefited greatly from this effort, receiving nearly $620 million in funds protecting areas like Glacier National Park, the Rocky Mountain Front and even state parks like the Lewis and Clark Caverns and Lone Pine State Park.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, however, has supported an effort to only fund the LWCF at two-thirds what it needs to continue to be successful. With Montana depending on this vital piece of funding to protect the places that allow us to live the lifestyle we enjoy, we need it to be fully funded.
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It’s time for Senator Daines to stand up and protect our Montana way of life and urge his Washington colleagues to fully fund the LWCF.