Land & Water Conservation Fund

FACT: Montana has received approximately $417 million in LWCF funding over the past five decades, protecting places such as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Rocky Mountain Front, Glacier National Park, and 800 local community projects statewide.

FACT: Roughly half of the 330 fishing access sites that dot the Treasure state were purchased with help from LWCF.

FACT: LWCF is not funded by taxpayer dollars.

FACT: If not reauthorized by September, 2015, LWCF will go away. Montana by the Numbers: Land & Water Conservation Fund

The 100-day countdown to reauthorization is ON.

  • 237.6 – Millions of LWCF money invested in Montana between 2005-2014
  • 70 – Percent of Montana business that cite access to public land and quality recreation as major factors for locating in Montana
  • 3.4 – Millions of LWCF funds used to buy or improve river fishing access sites in the last 50 years
  • 6.2 – Millions of LWCF money spent to buy or upgrade state parks in the last 50 years
  • 7.4 – Millions of LWCF money paid to the state to buy or upgrade lakes, wildlife refuges, and other lands in the last 50 years
  • 38 – Millions of LWCF grants to Montana school districts, state, county, and municipal parks departments in the last 50 years
  • 1 – Number of times Congress has fully funded LWCF since 1964

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a simple idea that was passed by Congress 50 years ago: that a portion of fees paid by energy companies that drill offshore should be funneled back to the mainland and used to protect important natural resources and create recreational opportunities for all Americans.

These are not taxpayer dollars.

Montanans from all walks of life agree that the LWCF has been a tremendous success for Montana. The program provides access to public land and water for Montanans and visitors alike. It conserves family ranches in places like the Rocky Mountain Front, Blackfoot and Centennial Valleys. LWCF builds city parks and greenways from eastern to western Montana, and keeps timberland in production and under management in times of economic pressure. Simply put, Montanans have reaped the benefits from LWCF, shaping the modern Montana we know and love.

The fate of LWCF is currently in the hands of Congress, which must reauthorize this landmark legislation by September 2015.

To meet the full potential of LWCF, and to reach the demands of the future, Congress must respond to two challenges. First, LWCF needs to be fully reauthorized at $900 million. A vote on that is pending by September of 2015. Second, Congress needs to break its habit of redirecting LWCF monies to pay for other budget items.

The time to reauthorize is now. Talk to our Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and tell them that the future of our outdoor spaces depends on them. With your help, one voice becomes many.