Tester Secures More Than $1.6 million in LWCF Funding for Montana

Senator: “We need to fully fund the LWCF immediately”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today $1,611,602 in Land and Water Conservation Fund grants that will expand public access to public land and bolster Montana’s outdoor recreation economy.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is the best conservation tool we have to expand public access to public lands and strengthen our $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Tester. “These investments are going to do some real good for our outdoor way of life, but they’re a strong reminder that we need to fully fund the LWCF immediately, and I won’t stop fighting until we’ve gotten it done.”

Tester, continuing his longtime commitment to preserving Montana’s public lands, this spring introduced bipartisan legislation to fully and permanently fund LWCF, which is authorized to receive up to $900 million annually, for generations to come. For years, Tester was the only member of the Montana delegation to support full, permanent funding for LWCF.

After the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee advanced legislation that funds LWCF at $524 million next year, Tester urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fund LWCF at the fully authorized amount of $900 million, rather than the modest plus-ups that have nickel-and-dimed the program each year.

In February, the Senate passed a historic public lands package that included two of Tester’s landmark pieces of legislation: The Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act and a bill to permanently reauthorize LWCF. But Tester made it clear that permanent reauthorization was just the first step, reintroducing his bill to fully fund LWCF permanently.