Tester secures LWCF language in comprehensive energy bill

Senator’s Making Public Lands Public Act included in legislative package

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today announced his bill to increase public access to public lands was included in a comprehensive energy bill.

Tester’s Making Public Lands Public Act requires at least 1.5 percent or $10 million of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) every year be used to secure rights of way and easements that open up access to existing public lands.

“In Montana, our public lands drive our economy, inspire folks to live and work here, and preserve our outdoor way of life,” Tester said. “I’m pleased my LWCF language was included in this bill so we can continue to increase access to our state’s most treasured places.”

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today announced the details of a comprehensive energy bill that includes permanent reauthorization of LWCF. Senator Tester has been urging his colleagues to reauthorize the program before it expires September 30.

Tester is also a cosponsor of a bill to fully fund LWCF. Last month Tester offered an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would have provided $400 million for the LWCF but it failed on a party line vote.