KLYQ: Montana’s Great Outdoors Get Funding

by Steve Fullerton

Taking care of the Great Outdoors got a financial boost from Congress recently. Montana Senator Jon Tester announced millions of dollars from the Great American Outdoors Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) that includes over $46 million for Montana.

The Land and Water Conservation was developed to conserve irreplaceable lands, partnering with other federal, state and local groups. Over the past years, among the countless projects from the LWCF, funding has helped the Painted Rocks State Park at the south end of the Bitterroot Valley, work on the Beaverhead River, and the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.

The LWCF will provide $30 million for the Montana Great Outdoor Conservation Project and for some land expansion of the Lolo National Forest. There’s another $16 million, also from the Great American Outdoors Act, for the Northern Region of the U.S.Forest Service and seven National Forests in Montana to clear up a backlog of deferred maintenance.

The Northern Region of the Forest Service will get $150,000. The Montana forests in the region will receive:

  • Bitterroot National Forest – $2,700,000.
  • Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest – $15,000
  • Custer Gallatin National Forest – $1,415,000
  • Flathead National Forest – $1,845,000
  • Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest – $3,380,000
  • Kootenai National Forest – $1,515,000
  • Lolo National Forest – $4,615,000

Senator Tester said in a news release, “Montana’s public lands power our $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy here in the Treasure State, supporting good-paying jobs and our way of life…We inherited these natural treasures from the folks that came before us, and these resources will help make sure they’re still around for our kids and grandkids.”