FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2015
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, 444.9725
Helena, Mont - Governor Steve Bullock released the following statement on the Congressional failure to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF):
“Thanks to partisan obstruction, for the first time in its fifty year history, today, Congress failed to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This important fund has ensured that generations of Montanans had access to public lands and waterways that otherwise would be locked up.
Montanans demand more from Washington. Congress must stop the political games and quickly reauthorize the LWCF.”
Montana has received over $540 million from the LWCF over the last five decades to protect icons like the Flathead and Gallatin National Forests. As of 2012, in Montana, 181,000 working forest lands have been conserved through LWCF funds, and approximately 165 fishing access sites have been created or improved.
LWCF funds have had a significant impact on Montana’s economy. Active outdoor recreation contributes more than $6.0 billion each year to the state’s economy and supports 64,000 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.
Earlier today, while testifying before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, Bullock urged members to reauthorize this important program. In July, Bullock called on Montana’s Congressional delegation to overcome obstruction to reauthorize the LWCF.