MTPR

Land and Water Conservation Fund

U.S. Senator Mike Lee probably won’t get a Christmas card this year from Montana Senator Jon Tester. That's because Tester says he's, “A little frustrated with Senator Lee at this moment in time.”

Sen. Steve Daines speaking at a press conference in support of reauthorizing LWCF in Washington D.C. on Nov. 29, 2018.
Facebook Live screenshot November 29, 2018

Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester threw their support behind an effort to revive the Land and Water Conservation Fund Thursday.

The fund expired in September. U.S. Senate and House attempts to permanently re-authorize it have languished since.

Land and Water Conservation Fund.
LWCF.org

In Missoula Friday, Montana’s Republican U.S. Senator, Steve Daines, said Senate leadership has committed to, “Put some kind of a package together of bills, public lands bills and conservation bills that we hope to move during the lame duck session. We’ll be back in session in the U.S. Senate on November 13 and we’ll have between then and the end of the year — which will be really the end of this Congress — to put something together.”

Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Montana Senator Jon Tester is blaming Republican leaders in Congress for failing to schedule a vote on the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF, before it expires on Sunday.


Montana Senator Steve Daines urged his colleagues Wednesday to quickly and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF.

Nicky Ouellet

When Anson Nygaard returned to the states after two years of active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he headed straight for the Pacific Crest Trail.

A look into the West Pioneer Wilderness Study Area  from a plane above. West Pioneer is around 150,000 acres in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new survey commissioned  by the University of Montana shows voters from every political leaning support national policy that protects and expands public land access in the state.

Helena National Forest
Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The big federal funding bill that Congress is expected to vote on Thursday would mean some certainty on three big issues for Montana and other Western states.

The bill locks-in Secure Rural Schools Act money for up to four years, changes how wildland firefighting is funded, and allocates money to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Glacier National Park entrance sign.
Flickr user photommo (CC-BY-ND)

President Donald Trump Thursday proposed a 12 percent cut to the Interior Department's 2018 budget. And national park advocates like Phil Francis are not happy about it:

Rep. Ryan Zinke at his Interior Secretary confirmation hearing Tuesday
CSPAN

"It is an honor to appear before this esteemed Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources," Congressman Ryan Zinke said Tuesday, kicking off nearly four hours of testimony at his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Interior in the Donald Trump administration.

He answered questions from Democratic and Republican senators, and had this exchange with Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders:

Sanders: President-elect Trump has stated in his view that climate change is a, "hoax." Is President-elect Trump right? Is climate change a hoax? 

Pages