Senators Gardner And Daines Deliver Historic Dedicated Funding For Public Lands

Sens. Cory Gardner And Steve Daines Were Instrumental In Securing The President’s Support For ‘Full And Permanent Funding For The Land and Water Conservation Fund’


PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I am calling on Congress to send me a Bill that fully and permanently funds the LWCF and restores our National Parks. When I sign it into law, it will be HISTORIC for our beautiful public lands. ALL thanks to @SenCoryGardner and @SteveDaines, two GREAT Conservative Leaders!” (President Trump, @realDonaldTrump, Twitter, 3/03/2020)

  • PRESIDENT TRUMP: “I commend the hard work of Senator @SteveDaines and @SenCoryGardner in protecting funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund for years to come. The citizens of Montana and Colorado thank you both!” (President Trump, @realDonaldTrump, Twitter, 3/03/2020)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “This is a great day for the future of public lands in Colorado and the country – we are proud to announce that we have secured the President’s support to provide full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and address the maintenance backlog at our national parks. Last year we were successful in permanently reauthorizing the LWCF, the crown jewel of conservation programs, and I have been fighting ever since to make funding permanent. The LWCF supports projects in Colorado and all across our country at no cost to the taxpayer, and fighting every year to figure out how much money the program will receive doesn’t provide the long-term planning certainty that our outdoor and conservation community deserves. I thank the President for his support, and I encourage all my colleagues in Congress to support full and permanent funding of the LWCF so future generations will have access to our great outdoors.” (Sens. Gardner and Daines, Press Release, 3/03/2020)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): “The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a critical conservation program that protects public access to public lands and our Montana way of life. We united a divided Congress last year when we got permanent authorization of the program signed into law. Now, we must provide full, mandatory funding for this important, bipartisan program. We also need to come together and restore our national parks by addressing the growing maintenance backlog. I’m thankful to have President Trump’s support and look forward to getting these major conservation priorities signed into law for future generations of Montanans.” (Sens. Gardner and Daines, Press Release, 3/03/2020)


‘The Land And Water Conservation Fund Is Used To Help Give Access To Land That The American People Already Own, To Enjoy, To Benefit From, To Create Economic Opportunities’

SEN. GARDNER: “For 4 years, since being in the Senate, I have worked to permanently reauthorize the crown jewel of our conservation programs, and we are about to have that crown jewel success, permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund--the passage of the public lands bill. … The Land and Water Conservation Fund is used to help give access to land that the American people already own, to enjoy, to benefit from, to create economic opportunities, and, more importantly, to create the opportunity just to be in our amazing, wonderful outdoors. … Since its creation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided more than $258 million in support for Colorado public lands projects. Again, the opportunity to have this permanent reauthorization today is incredible. It is supported by this Chamber, and it is supported, certainly, by people across the political spectrum in Colorado. It is a great day for Colorado. It is a great day for public lands.” (Sen. Gardner, Congressional Record, S.1179, 2/12/2019)

SEN. DAINES: “The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a critical tool in protecting and expanding access to what makes Montana so special; that is, our public lands. This program works with willing landowners. You see, when you look at a map of landowners in Montana, it becomes oftentimes very checkerboard in nature. You have sections owned privately, sections owned by the State government, sections owned by the Federal Government. What LWCF does is allows willing landowners to provide more access to public lands, as well as increasing outdoor recreation opportunities for cities and towns. It helps multigenerational farmers and ranchers and loggers continue to work their land.” (Sen. Daines, Congressional Record, S.1107 2/7/2019)


Large Bipartisan Majorities In Western States Support Fully Funding The Land And Water Conservation Fund

70% of voters in Colorado, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming “support fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, with strong majority approval for the program across party lines.” (Colorado College State of the Rockies Project, Press Release, 2/20/2020)

“A new poll of roughly 822 owners and managers of outdoor businesses in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Montana found that eight in 10 businesses support reauthorizing the conservation program … The survey found that 82 percent of the businesses surveyed believe Congress should reauthorize LWCF and provide ongoing, long-term funding, said Kevin Ingham, [public affairs firm Strategies 360’s] senior vice president of research. Seventy-three percent of the respondents agreed that public lands and access to them provided by LWCF and other conservation programs help their business recruit and retain high-level employees, according to the results. And the support is bipartisan, Ingham added …” (“Western Business Owners Throw Support Behind Reauthorizing Land And Water Conservation Fund,” The Denver Post, 9/07/2018)


Colorado Newspapers: The LWCF ‘Has Played A Major Role In Recreation Resources In’ Colorado And Helped Protect Portions Of Rocky Mountain And Great Sand Dunes National Parks

THE COLORADOAN EDITORIAL BOARD: “The Coloradoan editorial board wholeheartedly supports continuing the fund and making it permanent … We encourage other members of Congress and their constituents to get behind the push to support the LWCF …” (Editorial, “Congress Should Save The Land And Water Conservation Fund,” The [Fort Collins] Coloradoan, 8/17/2018)

  • “Over the years, the fund has bankrolled land purchases by various federal agencies to protect land from development, including portions of Rocky Mountain and Great Sand Dunes national parks in Colorado. It also supplied grant funding for state and local parks and recreation projects. It supplied about $143,000 to the city of Fort Collins in 1971 for acquisition of land that became Rolland Moore Community Park, according to a database developed by the nonprofit news service InvestigateWest. Money from the fund also went toward land acquisition and development at Lory and Boyd Lake state parks. LWCF support helped develop parks in Wellington, Berthoud, Loveland, Estes Park and Fort Collins, according to the database.” (Editorial, “Congress Should Save The Land And Water Conservation Fund,” The [Fort Collins] Coloradoan, 8/17/2018)

THE DAILY SENTINEL EDITORIAL BOARD: “The LWCF was created in 1964 to help preserve, develop and ensure access to important lands and facilities resources for recreation and conservation. It has played a major role in recreation resources in western Colorado. Each year, an estimated 66,000 people hike in Devils Canyon southwest of Fruita in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Much of the land they hike on was acquired from private owners with LWCF money. Money from the fund helped with development of the Blue Heron Section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail…. In addition, LWCF money helps fund urban parks and playgrounds.” (“LWCF Must Be Resuscitated,” The [Grand Junction, CO] Daily Sentinel, 10/04/2018)


Montana Newspapers: ‘LWCF Has Accomplished A Great Deal For Montana,’ And ‘Has Funded Billions Of Dollars’ Worth Of Outdoor Projects’

MISSOULIAN EDITORIAL BOARD: “With so much on its plate this session, the new Congress could do itself and future Congresses a favor by breaking its longstanding habit of kicking simple but important measures down the road with only partial funding and temporary authorization…. And of all the potential places to start, the Land and Water Conservation Fund may be the easiest. Wildly popular both in Congress and with voters, it uses no taxpayer dollars yet it has funded billions of dollars’ worth of outdoor projects, from building new neighborhood parks and fishing access sites to conserving wildlife refuges to enabling public access to public lands. Montana in particular has made great use of the LWCF. Consider that, according to the Montana Wildlife Federation’s calculation, nearly 70 percent of the fishing access sites and more than 800 recreational sites in the state were secured thanks to the LWCF.” (Editorial, “A Lasting Solution For LWCF,” The Missoulian, 1/22/2017)

BILLINGS GAZETTE EDITORIAL BOARD: “[A] bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including both of Montana’s senators, … called for permanent reauthorization and full funding of the LWCF. We agree and challenge the senators to insist that this urgent program be restored and funded at the level promised when the law was enacted in 1965. Today, the annual funding amount should be $900 million. … The royalties from tapping the public’s offshore natural resources should be used to keep America’s public lands natural and open to the public. Congress must act soon to restore and fully fund the LWCF.” (Editorial, “Congress Should Renew LWCF Before Christmas,” Billings Gazette, 12/4/2018)

BOZEMAN DAILY CHRONICLE EDITORIAL BOARD: “LWCF has accomplished a great deal for Montana. In the decade ending in 2014, $240 million worth of Montana projects were funded, including the acquisition of public lands in the South Cottonwood drainage near Bozeman. It’s rare that a federal conservation program like this can be so successful – and without the use of taxpayer dollars. The list of LWCF-funded projects beneficial to the public throughout the nation is long. It was a good idea when it was created in 1965, and it’s an even better idea now.” (Editorial, “A Fully Funded LWCF Good For Montana,” Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 11/5/2019)