Sens. Gardner And Daines Deliver ‘A Milestone Achievement’ For Public Lands And Recreation

Newspapers And Conservation Groups Laud Sens. Cory Gardner And Steve Daines, Saying They ‘Delivered The Goods’ For Their States And The Country And ‘Parlayed [Their] Relationship With President Trump Into A Stunning Win’


“A decades-old program that provides grants to public lands and environmental projects in Colorado and other states could be fully funded in perpetuity after Colorado’s U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and others [including Montana Sen. Steve Daines] negotiated the support of President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.” (“In A Win For Public Lands — And Cory Gardner — Trump Vows To Fully Fund Land And Water Conservation Fund,” The Colorado Sun, 3/05/2020)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “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, and the bipartisan group here today demonstrates the strong backing these programs benefit from in Congress. The LWCF supports projects in Colorado and all across our country … I thank President Trump and Leader McConnell for their support and look forward to getting full, permanent funding signed into law.” (Sen. Gardner, Press Release, 3/04/2020)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): “This is a historic day for conservation, Montana and this nation. I am proud to stand here today and announce that after my meeting with President Trump, Senator Gardner and Leader McConnell, we have the support we need to provide full and mandatory funding for LWCF and address the maintenance backlog at our national parks. For Montanans, protecting our public lands is about protecting our way of life. That’s why I’ve made it my top priority since coming to Congress to fight for LWCF and our parks. I look forward to getting this historic conservation victory across the finish line for future generations of Montanans.” (Sen. Daines, Press Release, 3/04/2020)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “It’s a priority for Senators Daines, Gardner, and Alexander. It is a priority for the President. And it is a priority for me. We will turn to it in a timely manner.” (“Daines, Tester React To Trump's Call To Fully Fund Conservation Program,” Missoulian, 3/03/2020)

SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DAVID BERNHARDT: “President Trump called upon this Congress to send him ‘a bill that fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and restores our national parks.’ … The enactment of such legislation would be historic for the cause of conservation. His support for this major initiative is extremely significant …” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies Hearing, 3/04/2020)


‘Sen. Cory Gardner Has Delivered The Goods To Colorado,’ And Sen. Steve ‘Daines Deserves Some Special Credit This Week’ For ‘A Stunning Win For The Fund’

SECRETARY BERNHARDT: “Clearly, you [Sen. Daines] and Senator Gardner were very persuasive.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies Hearing, 3/04/2020)

THE DENVER POST EDITORIAL BOARD: “U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has delivered the goods to Colorado, the West and America’s increasingly fragile ecology and environment.” (Editorial, “Cory Gardner Delivers With Major Land Conservation And Parks Funding,” The Denver Post, 3/06/2020)

  • SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member: “When we drafted the bill, Cory was the first one to take the lead on the Republican side.” (Sen. Manchin, Press Conference, 3/04/2020)

“U.S. Sen. Steve Daines … has emerged as a key advocate for the Land and Water Conservation Fund …” (“Daines Confident In Trump's New Support For LWCF,” Helena Independent Record, 3/05/2020)

  • THE MONTANA STANDARD: “[A]fter a meeting with Daines and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the President has tweeted support for full permanent funding for LWCF. How did that happen? Enter Sen. Daines. First, Daines had to lobby McConnell. Once McConnell was in support, the two of them went to see Trump. And Daines pulled out photos of LWCF projects in Montana, including a project on Falls Creek near Augusta completed last year, guaranteeing public access into a spectacular piece of Montana. He showed them to the President, and talked about LWCF as a tool for land managers to better manage the lands they own. He reports that Trump said, ‘Okay, Steve, get me a bill and I will sign it.’” (Editorial, “Daines' Effort, Access To The President Pays Off For LWCF,” The Montana Standard, 3/08/2020)


The Land And Water Conservation Fund Has Benefitted Colorado And Montana With Over $200 Million And $400 Million In Conservation Projects, Respectively

“The LWCF has been used for many projects in Colorado, most often to acquire lands for public use, from Summit County to Durango to Cherry Creek State Park. The Eagle Valley Land Trust, for example, hopes to tap the fund for $8.5 million to purchase Sweetwater Lake and 488 acres of privately-owned property surrounded by National Forest above Dotsero for public access.” (“In A Win For Public Lands — And Cory Gardner — Trump Vows To Fully Fund Land And Water Conservation Fund,” The Colorado Sun, 3/05/2020)

“Montana has received more than $400 million in LWCF funding, including recent access projects on the Rocky Mountain Front, along the Smith River and near Whitefish.” (“Daines Confident In Trump's New Support For LWCF,” Helena Independent Record, 3/05/2020)

“Mark Lambrecht, director of public affairs for Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, joined Daines in a call later in the day with Montana reporters. He said they have done more than 80 projects that involve LWCF money, which includes the Falls Creek project near Augusta in which he said $250,000 of LWCF money was used ‘to close the deal.’” (“Daines, Tester Hail Landmark Conservation Funding,” Great Falls Tribune, 3/04/2020)


Permanent Funding For LWCF Would Be ‘The Most Significant Conservation Legislation Enacted By Congress In At Least A Half Century,’ ‘Good For The Nation And For The Public Lands That Make Up Our Common Heritage’

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN), member of Senate Appropriations and Energy and Natural Resources Committees: “I think it is a fair statement to say that this legislation – the two major parts of it – will be the most significant conservation legislation enacted by Congress in at least a half century.” (Sen. Alexander, Press Conference, 3/04/2020)

SEN. MANCHIN: “This needs to be done for my children and grandchildren…. Almost every county in the United States benefits. Every state benefits. Every territory benefits. So politics be damned, let’s just get it done.” (Sen. Manchin, Press Conference, 3/04/2020)

THE MONTANA STANDARD EDITORIAL BOARD: “The struggle to continue funding for LWCF has been going on through years and multiple administrations. If the Trump Administration ends up authorizing full permanent funding, it will represent one of the most significant public-lands developments in recent years.” (Editorial, “Daines' Effort, Access To The President Pays Off For LWCF,” The Montana Standard, 3/08/2020)

THE DENVER POST EDITORIAL BOARD: “Under Gardner’s bipartisan bill announced last week, the nation’s ability to manage and increase public lands would be bolstered. This is critical …” (Editorial, “Cory Gardner Delivers With Major Land Conservation And Parks Funding,” The Denver Post, 3/06/2020)

OUTDOOR LIFE: “In this highly partisan era, LWCF is one of the relatively few government programs that consistently receives support on both sides of the aisle…. LWCF is one of the most powerful funding mechanisms for conservation that Congress has. Since 1965, LWCF has taken some money from royalties paid for off-shore energy development and directs it towards habitat conservation, access projects and urban parks and recreation.” (Ben Long, “President Trump Tweets in Favor of Fully and Permanently Funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” Outdoor Life, 3/05/2020)

THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN EDITORIAL BOARD: “One of the most popular — and effective — pots of money that flows from Washington, D.C., across the country is the Land and Water Conservation Fund…. The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides protection for the health of public lands, especially in the West, where the outdoor economy is booming…. The bipartisan legislation would keep the Land and Water Conservation Fund fully funded while addressing billions of dollars in maintenance in national parks across the United States. Passing this legislation is good for the nation and for the public lands that make up our common heritage.” (Editorial, “Good News For The Land And Water Conservation Fund,” The Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/05/2020)

THE [VANCOUVER, WA] COLUMBIAN EDITORIAL BOARD: “A bipartisan group of senators last week announced an agreement to spend about $2.2 billion a year on conservation and outdoor recreation projects, in addition to park maintenance…. It would, indeed, be significant…. The agreement’s funding for maintenance at national parks also should be lauded. The National Park Service says more than $11 billion in maintenance has been deferred over the years because of budget shortfalls…. [C]aring for public lands is a worthwhile endeavor that benefits taxpayers.” (Editorial, “Land And Water Conservation Fund Vital To All,” The [Vancouver, WA] Columbian, 3/08/2020)


Conservation Groups: ‘An Enormous Conservation Victory For Our Nation,’ ‘Long Overdue To Help Our National Parks And Other Public Lands’ ‘Demonstrating That Bipartisan Cooperation Can Achieve Great Things’

SALLY JEWELL, Former Obama Administration Secretary of the Interior and the Nature Conservancy’s Interim CEO: “Fully and permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund and caring for America’s national parks are two sides of the same coin. LWCF protects public lands and makes them accessible, while restoring our parks makes sure those places are safe and enjoyable. Addressing these important issues together makes sense, has bipartisan support, and will go a long way toward ensuring that one of America’s greatest legacies—our public lands and waters—are kept healthy and thriving for all to enjoy. This would be an enormous conservation victory for our nation, finally fulfilling the promise of LWCF after 54 years and doing the right thing for future generations.” (Nature Conservancy, Press Release, 3/04/2020)

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY Director of Government Relations for Lands Tom Cors, spokesman for the LWCF Coalition: “This is an historic deal reflecting the tremendous bipartisan support for our public lands and would mark the biggest conservation victory in over 100 years. This is the chance we have been waiting for to solidify our investments in the outdoor economy … We applaud our Congressional champions and the Administration for demonstrating that bipartisan cooperation can achieve great things, and for finding common ground in the fight to ensure that future generations will continue to have access to close-to-home recreation.” (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Press Release, 3/04/2020)

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION President and CEO Collin O’Mara: “A bipartisan coalition on Capitol Hill has fought for decades to ensure that our public lands receive the funding they deserve. We are delighted by the president’s announcement yesterday of his commitment to conserve additional public lands and waters and repair crumbling recreational infrastructure that is essential to growing America’s outdoor economy… Our American identity is deeply entwined with our national parks and the local and state recreation areas created by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. We urge Congress to pass this legislation to preserve our cherished outdoor heritage for generations to come.” (National Wildlife Federation, Press Release, 3/04/2020)

COLORADO WILDLIFE FEDERATION Executive Director Suzanne O’Neill: “This common-sense legislation is long overdue to help our national parks and other public lands meet the burgeoning demand of increased numbers of hikers, anglers, campers, and wildlife watchers who have been flocking to Colorado’s outdoor spaces in recent years… As recent polling has shown, Westerners deeply value their public lands and want to ensure they are restored and conserved for their children and grandchildren to enjoy.” (National Wildlife Federation, Press Release, 3/04/2020)

TROUT UNLIMITED Vice President Of Government Affairs Steve Moyer: “We thank Sens. Gardner and Daines, President Trump, and this bipartisan group a lawmakers for making this legislation a priority…. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have long sought to fulfill the LWCF promise for the American people and provide much needed funding to take care of our public lands.” (“Cory Gardner Lands Trump Backing For Full Land And Water Conservation Fund Funding,” Vail Daily, 3/04/2020)

MONTANA TROUT UNLIMITED Executive Director David Brooks: “Today, Montanans can celebrate a big step forward for our public lands, coldwater fisheries, and outdoor heritage. The introduction of this bipartisan legislation to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and tackle decades of missed opportunities to invest in our critical fish and wildlife habitat and public access is something that we can all support. Senator Daines has been a steadfast champion for full and permanent funding for LWCF in Congress … Wherever you choose to hunt or fish or recreate in Montana, this legislation will make your experience better. Thank you.” (Press Release, 3/04/2020)

THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND President and CEO Diane Regas: “Full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund would be an enormous boost for the millions of people who need access to parks and public lands, and I’m pleased to see the bipartisan leadership in Congress moving parks and conservation funding forward. Thank you, Senators Gardner and Manchin for your continued leadership and commitment to ensuring full and dedicated funding to LWCF.” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)

THE CONSERVATION FUND President and CEO Larry Selzer: “We have a historic opportunity to enact into law a fully funded LWCF, which plays a vital role in protecting and managing federal, state and local lands while supporting local economies and recreational opportunities across the country... We applaud Senators Gardner, Daines, Manchin, Cantwell, Burr and all of the bipartisan leaders in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House for championing this essential program—and the companion effort to address the maintenance backlog on our public lands—for our natural treasures.” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION Director of Government Affairs Mark Lambrecht: “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation congratulates Senator Daines, Senator Gardner and the Trump Administration for reaching agreement on legislation that would represent the most significant conservation achievement by Congress in decades. Permanent, mandatory funding of LWCF would provide conservation organizations and landowners certainty in their agreements to protect wildlife habitat and provide public access to public lands…. The agreement to address maintenance backlog issues in our national parks is equally significant. We need to invest in our treasured national parks to benefit the public and wildlife in the long term.” (Press Release, 3/04/2020)


National Park Allies: ‘This Bill Will Support Conservation Efforts Across The Country And Help Ensure Our Parks And Public Lands Can Continue To Provide Safe And Enjoyable Conditions For Millions Of Visitors’

NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION President and CEO Will Shafroth: “The National Park Foundation is a strong supporter of the Restore Our Parks Act, and all efforts to reduce the deferred maintenance backlog. We look forward to continuing to work with the President, Secretary Bernhardt, and Congress to get a bill across the finish line.” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK SUPERINTENDENT Jeff Mow: “On behalf of all the units of the National Park Service, and as the Superintendent of Glacier National Park I want to thank Senator Daines and all the members of Congress who support our national parks in many ways.” (“Senate Coalition Announces Historic Conservation Measure for LWCF, National Parks,” [Kalispell, MT] Flathead Beacon, 3/05/2020)

NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION President and CEO Theresa Pierno: “For years, NPCA, communities and park advocates have fought to fix our parks and save America’s legacy. Today, thanks to the efforts of Senators Joe Manchin and Cory Gardner, their voices were heard. This bill will support conservation efforts across the country and help ensure our parks and public lands can continue to provide safe and enjoyable conditions for millions of visitors, support local communities and protect the resources that help tell our nation’s stories.” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)

NATIONAL PARK HOSPITALITY ASSOCIATION Chair Scott Socha: “We believe the nation should demonstrate a new and enduring commitment to connecting all Americans with their parks and other Great Outdoors places – a commitment that includes elimination of a chronic maintenance shortfall and of inadequate places and infrastructure to host the visits of our growing population. We applaud today’s action by Senate champions and the Administration on the Restore Our Parks Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act.” (Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Press Release, 3/05/2020)

NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Tom Cassidy: “We applaud this new legislation and its sponsors’ commitment to ensuring full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and for addressing long-standing deferred maintenance needs in our national parks… LWCF has enabled essential investments in iconic and diverse historic places in this country that help tell the full story of American heritage, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia.” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)


Outdoor Recreation Organizations: ‘A Milestone Achievement’ And ‘A Big Moment For Outdoor Recreation And Conservation’ That ‘Will Help To Further Fuel The Outdoor Recreation Economy Across The Country’ And ‘Conserve Wildlife Habitat And Expand Public Access To Great Places To Hunt, Fish And Enjoy The Outdoors’

OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug: “Today marks a milestone achievement for the Outdoor Industry Association and outdoor enthusiasts across the country… Our shared public lands and waters are the foundation of the huge and growing outdoor recreation economy, and we are thrilled to see our elected officials coming together in a bi-partisan way to deliver on full funding for LWCF and to commit sustainable funding to address the maintenance backlogs in our national parks. Both of these efforts will go a long way in continuing to grow the outdoor economy and assisting our continued effort to get more Americans into the outdoors.” (Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Press Release, 3/05/2020)

OUTDOOR RECREATION ROUNDTABLE Executive Director Jessica Wahl: “Today is a huge step for outdoor recreationists, the industry and the $778 billion outdoor recreation economy… We have supported these issues for a long time and are thrilled to see movement on them as they will help to further fuel the outdoor recreation economy across the country. We appreciate the sponsors’ dedication to these bills and will continue to work with them ...” (Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Press Release, 3/05/2020)

OUTDOOR ALLIANCE Executive Director Adam Cramer: “We deeply appreciate Senator Daines' work to advocate for full and mandatory funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. For everyone who loves to get outside to bike, ski, climb, hike, camp, and explore, LWCF is one of the best ways to create and protect the places we play. It's one of the best conservation ideas of the last fifty years and to see it fully realized now is a win for all Americans who get outside. We also deeply appreciate the Senator's work to restore our nation's parks and public lands through the Restore Our Parks Act. Americans have great affection for all our public lands, from National Parks to National Forests and BLM lands, and this legislation is a needed solution to the maintenance backlog on our public lands.” (Press Release, 3/04/2020)

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL COALITION Executive Director Teresa Martinez: “In the Rocky Mountain West, public lands and trails are vital to our region’s economy and our quality of life… That’s why the certainty provided by full, permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund is so crucial. We’re pleased to see legislators who understand that leading the way once more in working to permanently fund LWCF, including Senator Gardner and his Western colleagues who are cosponsoring this bill …” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)

PARTNERSHIP FOR THE NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM President Barney Mann: “The Partnership for the National Trails System applauds Sens. Gardner and Manchin for their work to advance action in the US Senate to fully dedicate Land and Water Conservation Fund funding each year. … We stand ready to work on a bipartisan basis to get this over the finish line this year.” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)

AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY Director of Policy and Advocacy Tyler Ray: “The bipartisan progress to fund LWCF and begin to fix the maintenance backlog on our public lands through the America’s Great Outdoors Act is a big moment for outdoor recreation and conservation. American Hiking Society applauds the leadership of Senator Daines and the robust support across the aisle to increase access to and preservation of our public lands. We encourage the Senate to quickly pass this legislation, including addressing the deferred maintenance of all our public lands, including the Forest Service.” (Press Release, 3/04/2020)

THEODORE ROOSEVELT CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh: “Sportsmen and women are thrilled to see bipartisan momentum building behind the Land and Water Conservation Fund… It has a proven track record of supporting hunting, fishing, and our booming outdoor economy. We urge the full Senate to invest in the future of LWCF and the conservation of our natural resources.” (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Press Release, 3/04/2020)

MONTANA OUTFITTER AND GUIDES ASSOCIATION Executive Director Mac Minard: “MOGA has long supported Congressional efforts to maintain and expand LWCF. The benefits that accrue to the outdoor community from LWCF are broad based and measurable. We applaud Senator Daines and others for their actions to make full funding permanent.” (Press Release, 3/04/2020)

BACKCOUNTRY HUNTERS & ANGLERS Conservation Director John Gale: “Time and time again, American citizens have loudly spoken up in support of funding for our public land management agencies and programs that conserve wildlife habitat and expand public access to great places to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors. In response, Senate leaders are discussing legislation that not only would address the National Park Service maintenance backlog but also would finally, once and for all, assure full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the most popular and effective conservation and access program in the nation. We thank them for their efforts and look forward to helping advance a bill to the president’s desk.” (Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Press Release, 3/05/2020)

APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB President and CEO John Judge: “Today’s announcement underscores the longstanding commitment from conservation champions on both sides of the aisle to ensuring that LWCF is fully and permanently funded, in order to finally realize its true promise as our nation’s premiere land protection program and driver of our multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation economy.” (Press Release, 3/06/2020)