RMEF, Others Call for Reauthorization of Key Conservation Program

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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow conservation groups, community leaders and federal lawmakers in calling for permanent re-authorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“The expiration of LWCF at the end of September creates a great deal of uncertainty for landowners and sportsmen concerned with habitat conservation and hunting access,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “To date LWCF funding has provided over $108 million in funding that assisted 80 RMEF projects which permanently protected more than 152,000 acres of wildlife habitat. RMEF is grateful for Sen. Daines’ leadership in fighting for re-authorization and full funding of this critical program that benefits all Americans.”

The LWCF helps conserve wild and undeveloped places, cultural heritage and benefits fish, wildlife and recreation. Its funding comes from royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. The royalties bring in $900 million annually, most of which is diverted to other federal programs.

“LWCF is so important to Montana, and the benefits extend from coast to coast, all across our nation. It costs the taxpayers nothing,” said Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). “We have the bipartisan support in Congress to save this critical program. Let’s get this done.”

LWCF funding is included in this year’s Interior appropriations bill, which is expected to be signed into law after the Senate goes to conference with the House.