Land Trust News

Kelly Kountz Photo / Courtesy of Gallatin Valley Land Trust

LWCF and GAOA Enter 2021 With Good News and Full Funding

      While there was bad news on the syndication front, the final omnibus appropriations bill Congress passed for FY21 contained good news for implementation of and funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Great American Outdoors Act.

     From a National LWCF Coalition email: Congress has done it right, rejecting the Administration’s flawed proposal in favor of balanced allocations among LWCF subprograms, the full original project list we requested, and in fact more than $900 million for conservation and recreation! This is a great reminder that the $900M authorized for LWCF was always intended to be a floor, not a ceiling, and Congress is still free to add to it. 

     CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL ON THIS CAPSTONE TO AN AMAZING YEAR OF SUCCESS. It is all a result of your longstanding, meticulous, incredibly strong efforts on both sides of the aisle to put LWCF on this path to realize its true promise, and empower all the phenomenal work we know it can do. We’re so excited to push this potential to the max starting in 2021!

     From an E&E News article: Tom Cors, the director of government relations for lands at the Nature Conservancy, agreed and said: “The bill affirms the full potential of the Great American Outdoors Act and puts it in full swing. We are grateful Congress provided balanced funding for all outdoor spaces.” 

     The entire text of the Department of Interior portion of the bill is available here. Projects in Montana identified by lists provided by the National LWCF Coalition include: Lower Musselshell River Conservation Project (BLM), Montana National Wildlife Refuges and Conservation Areas (USFWS), Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project (USFS, Forest Legacy), Bad Rock Canyon Conservation Project (USFS, Forest Legacy), and Lolo Trails (USFS).