Tester calls on President to fully fund LWCF
Senator pushes for strong public land access to strengthen Montana’s economy
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today pushed the President to fully fund the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to preserve Montana’s outdoor heritage and create jobs by increasing access to public lands.
LWCF, created in 1965, uses funds from offshore oil and gas receipts for a wide array of conservation programs that increase access to public lands for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation and preserve natural resources.
Tester, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, also wants at least 1.5 percent of LWCF funds to be used to open up access to public lands.
“Investing in LWCF is an investment in Montana’s economy and an investment in our outdoor heritage,” said Tester, the former chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “Our outdoor industry is a bright spot in our state’s economy and continuing support for public access projects strengthens our outdoor economy and puts more Montanans to work. It makes good sense to support the industry’s growth and ensure our kids and grandkids can enjoy Montana’s outdoor traditions.”
In addition to protecting national parks and public lands for outdoor use, LWCF also funds the Forest Legacy Program, an initiative that protects threatened forests and creates jobs in rural communities.
The LWCF is instrumental in growing Montana’s outdoor economy, which creates or sustains 64,000 jobs and contributes nearly $6 billion to the state’s economy each year.
Tester has tirelessly fought to give LWCF full funding to grow Montana’s outdoor economy. He recently joined Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) to introduce the Sportsmen’s and Public Outdoor Recreation Traditions (SPORT) Act. The SPORT Act would increase public land access for hunters and anglers, preserve treasured places to hunt and fish, and strengthen states’ roles in protecting wildlife.
Tester led the Senate’s effort pushing the President on LWCF. His letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is signed by 30 other Senators including fellow Montana Senator Max Baucus. The president’s budget request to Congress is expected in early March.