Both of Montana’s U.S. Senators spoke at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday calling for the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expires in exactly 100 days.

Senator Steve Daines said the LWCF is a collaboration of landowners throughout Montana.

“The challenge we have in Montana where LWCF makes sense is a checkerboard type of ownership,” said Daines. “Our collaborators all come together. Federal lands, state lands and private landowners all provide access to some two million acres of public lands in Montana that Montanans don’t have access to today. That is one way the LWCF plays a very important role, and it doesn’t cost the taxpayer anything.”

Senator Jon Tester tapped into the natural love of the outdoors, even to those in the nation’s capitol.

“If you like to hunt and fish and there are a lot of people viewing this who are not on Capitol Hill, let me just say we’ve got to get behind the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said Tester. “This program was set up in 1965, so let’s just assume that it would have been funded at $900 million. Do you know with inflation what it would be funded for today? About $7 billion. I’ll vote for full funding today, it’s that important for quality of life, it’s that important for my kids and my grandkids, so let’s get ‘er done.”

Using zero taxpayer dollars, the fund invests earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing, but funding is set to end in 100 days.

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