The Land & Water Conservation Fund’s (LWCF) track record on behalf of Americans young and old, rural and urban is tremendous. I am celebrating the Senate’s passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, including permanent and full funding for LWCF.
I am also celebrating that it will allocate billions to federal land management agency maintenance backlogs. These investments will come back to our economy and residents many times over.
I am not celebrating, however, Senator Steve Daines’ role in this process. Senator Daines came out on the right side of this story at the last possible moment. His long-term record leaves much to be desired. In 2015 he twice voted against reauthorizing LWCF. He has blocked the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act from receiving due process in the Senate three years running.
His antipathy towards the Bob Marshall Wilderness also dates to 2015, when he cast the deciding vote to enable the sale, transfer, or exchange of lands in the Bob and other wilderness areas, refuges, forests, and conservation lands in the U.S.
Let’s celebrate credit where credit is due. Passage of LWCF is a win for all Montanans. Senator Daines’ has yet to demonstrate commitment to our public lands heritage.