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Daines, business groups celebrate conservation bill clearing U.S. Senate

Posted at 11:47 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 13:26:40-05

BOZEMAN – US Senator Daines (R-MT) visited a fishing access site in the Paradise Valley on Tuesday after the US Senate recently authorized the Land Water Conservation Fund (LCWF) which helps hundreds of public land sites around the state.

Standing with members of the Yellowstone Gateway Business Community (YGBC)  — a group that helped keep mining out of an area not far from the border of Yellowstone National Park — Sen. Daines noted the bi-partisan effort to achieve permanent authorization for the LCWF which helped the location — and so many others around Montana.

“The Montana team came together to make this possible in the US Senate. and now we’re focused on getting this across the finish line in the US House,” Sen. Daines said.

“We all set aside our political differences and decided to focus on preserving this area and our jobs and we asked our delegation to do the same and you delivered and we really thank you for that,” said YGBC member Bryan Wells.

The LWCF is now in the hands of the US House of Representatives but those gathered along the Yellowstone River recognized the significance of the vote in the US Senate.

“As I reflect on it, I think if you enjoy hunting and fishing and recreating on public lands this is the most significant legislation to come out of the Senate in over a decade,” YGBC member KC Walsh said. “And I just congratulate you and thank you and hope we get this through the House swiftly.”

“We all — whether you fish or not — this river is the life’s blood too  We all float it, raise our children on it. It just feels great to know it’s — the word permanent protection — it’s hard to fathom it’s big,” said Chico Hot Springs owner Colin Davis, a YGBC member.

Sen. Daines noted how widespread the LWCF is in the Treasure State. But he also made a point of noting that it is more than just fishing access sites like the Emigrant Site where the press conference was held.

He referenced a location in the heart of Livingston Sacajawea Park — a longtime recipient of LWCF funds.

The permanent reauthorization means LWCF becomes part of the federal appropriations process and that is good news for Montana.

“That means every year we’ll be going through the appropriations process. Now the good news for Montana is that both of Montana’s senators sit on the Appropriations Committee. That’s pretty unique,” Sen. Daines stated.

Sen. Daines also says he hopes the 92-8 vote for the LWCF in the US Senate will be a spark for the US House of Representatives to do the same.

Sen. Daines also says that President Donald Trump told him he would sign the LWCF, if and when, it passes the US House.