Push for LWCF full funding applauded by MT businesses

by Independent Record

The unified front presented by Montana’s delegation last week to save the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has given us much for which to be hopeful. U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines recently took a stand among 14 other senators from both sides of the aisle, calling on Congress to permanently reauthorize and fully fund LWCF.

Congressman Zinke, also on board in supporting permanent reauthorization, presented compelling testimony last week before the House Natural Resources Committee on the value LWCF brings to Montana.

As businessman and as citizen of Montana, I want to thank our Congressional delegation for their leadership recognizing the importance of this fund, which for 50 years has spent not one dollar of taxpayer money to fund recreation sites, habitat preservation, public land access and protection of cultural and heritage treasures.

I applaud Sens. Tester and Daines, and Congressman Zinke for taking the lead in standing up for what they know works for Montana and the preservation of our outdoor heritage.

We know that the places where we love to hunt, fish, recreate with our families, and build into the foundation of our businesses has much to do with the past 50 years of benefit from LWCF. We also know that our leadership understands that and continues to show in real terms that saving LWCF is a priority.

In the midst of Thanksgiving season, when we reflect on the many things for which we as Montanans are thankful, let the perseverance of our leaders be one of them. Full and permanent funding for LWCF means more public lands access in Montana, and that is something to be thankful for.

Kevin Sloan is president of Sitka Gear in Bozeman.