Senator Daines (R-MT) will return to his home state this week for a six-week recess after he failed to deliver on his pledge to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). In response, Western Values Project Action (WVP) – a Montana-based conservation watchdog group – launched a new round of ads in Montana asking why Senator Daines is putting Montana’s parks, public lands, and access at risk by not fully funding the LWCF.
Watch the 30-second digital ad here.
“Inaction and empty promises won’t protect our public lands, parks and our western way of life,” said Chris Saeger, the executive director for the Western Values Project Action. “As Senator Daines’ returns home for recess, we have a simple message for him: do your job and get the LWCF funded.”
Before leaving for summer vacation, the Senate passed a two-year continuing budget resolution, lifting the debt ceiling to avoid another reckless Trump government shutdown. The budget resolution did not include funding for the critical LWCF.
In Montana, the LWCF has invested more than $619.7 million in protecting parks, public access, and recreation areas over the last 50 years. But the Trump administration has proposed nearly eliminating funding and Senator Daines has not stood up to Trump to demand funding for a program that is critically important to Montana’s parks, public lands, and public access.
Daines has remained silent about the senate’s plans to move pending legislation that would fund America’s most important public parks and lands program before leaving for another summer vacation, giving no indication that he would consider moving legislation on the fund. Senator Daines (MT) – after claiming to support the LWCF-voted for legislation that would have cut $16 million from the fund.
The LWCF is widely supported and doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. Since its creation in 1964, Congress has only allocated the full $900 million allowed under the act a handful of times, meaning $22 billion in funding to support America’s public lands, parks, and public access have been diverted. On March 12, 2019, the LWCF was signed into permanent law, after passing both chambers of Congress by a wide bipartisan margin. However, the fund was passed with an empty bank account.
WVP Action recently launched a campaign calling on three key Western senators to ensure full and permanent funding for the LWCF. The campaign urges constituents to visit TellMcSally.org, TellGardner.org, and TellDaines.org to tell their Senator to show leadership on this issue.