The United States Senate has voted to advance S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. Important to Montana, the bipartisan legislation would restore the Land and Water Conservation Fund and enact a mineral withdrawal to prevent new mining claims in the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives where sportsmen and women are urging quick passage.
“This bill is the product of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle working together. Montana’s entire Congressional delegation have been strong supporters of LWCF and Senator Tester and Senator Daines deserve our thanks for helping to finish the job and advance this legislation through the Senate,” said David Brooks, Executive Director of Montana Trout Unlimited. “We will still need to fully fund the program, but permanent LWCF authorization will benefit hunters and anglers for generations to come.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is our country’s premier conservation, fishing and hunting access program, helping to secure fishing access sites across Montana and funding willing-seller public land acquisitions such as in the Tenderfoot drainage, an important tributary to the Smith River in central Montana. Also included in the package is the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act, which would prohibit new mining claims on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park, including the North Fork of Sixmile Creek drainage, which supports an important population of native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.
“Montanans benefit greatly from this legislation, but sportsmen and women around the country are also winners,” continued Brooks. “Dozens of provisions create new wilderness areas, wild and scenic river sections, national conservation areas and minerals withdrawals, making this one of the most important pieces of public lands legislation in a generation. The strong bipartisan support for this proposal from Montana’s delegation and throughout the country is noteworthy and we urge the House of Representatives to act quickly to send the package to President Trump’s desk.”