FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 22, 2015
Dave Parker, Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9844
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Governor Bullock Urges Montana’s Federal Delegation to Support the Swift Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund
Helena, Mont. – Governor Steve Bullock today released a letter to Congressman Ryan Zinke, Senator Jon Tester, and Senator Steve Daines urging them to support the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which is set to expire in September of this year. The LWCF uses royalties from the depletion of offshore oil and gas to create and protect natural areas and water resources across the nation. Bullock encouraged Montana’s federal delegation to join the large bipartisan support behind S. 338 which would permanently reauthorize the LWCF.
“The LWCF has done so much good for our state,” Bullock wrote in his letter. “It’s hard to imagine what Montana would be like without it. From fishing access sites to parks and playgrounds, the LWCF has changed the everyday lives of Montanans for the better.”
Montana has received over $237 million from the LWCF since 2005. These funds have gone to protecting Montana icons like the Flathead and Gallatin National Forests. As of 2012, 181,000 working forest lands have been conserved through LWCF funds, and approximately 165 fishing access sites have been created or improved.
Governor Bullock also cited the large economic benefits to Montana from LWCF funds. Active outdoor recreation contributes more than $6.0 billion each year to the state’s economy and supports 34,000 jobs. It’s estimated that over 950,000 people hunt, fish, or watch wildlife in Montana each year, opportunities made possible in part by funding from the LWCF.
Governor Bullock’s support of the LWCF is the latest in his long standing dedication to Montana’s outdoor heritage and public lands. He continues to make preserving Montana’s wild spaces a top priority of his administration.
Bullock’s letter to Montana’s Federal Delegation can be found HERE.