PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - August 11, 2020 


Small business owners say postal delays make it harder to survive the pandemic; federal stimulus funding falls short for mental health treatment.


2020Talks - August 11, 2020 


Connecticut updates its election rules, and two Trump allies face off in Georgia's state runoff. Plus, a preview of next week's Democratic National Convention.

Report: Access is “Bank” for MT Outdoor-Recreation Industry

PHOTO: Dan Austin, owner of Austin-Lehman Adventures in Billings, is applauding introduction of a bill to full fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
PHOTO: Dan Austin, owner of Austin-Lehman Adventures in Billings, is applauding introduction of a bill to full fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
February 19, 2013

BILLINGS, Mont. - More money for parks, pathways and access to public lands at no cost to taxpayers. That's the deal Montana Senator Max Baucus is promoting in Congress, with a bill to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF uses offshore oil and gas tax funds to improve public spaces.

According to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoors recreation brings almost $6 billion to Montana each year, along with 64,000 jobs.

Dan Austin, who owns Austin-Lehman Adventures in Billings, said the LWCF is an obvious connection to the economic benefits.

"And we're always talking about using our recreational opportunities as a draw, to draw in new businesses, new residents," he said. "Just a big part of why our economy has been so robust even when, around the country, it might not have been so positive."

LWCF has been around for many years, but not always fully funded, as the money has been diverted to other budget items.

Austin said the legacy of the LWCF is seen throughout the state, from preservation of ranch land along the Rocky Mountain Front to the Blackfoot River Resource Management Area.

"In this day and age, where taxpayers are so shell-shocked with paying additional taxes, I think educating the public that this money is already earmarked, it isn't coming out of our pocketbooks," is important, Ausin said.

The bill introduced by Baucus has bipartisan support. This is the 50th anniversary of the original legislation to establish the fund.

Montana Senator Jon Tester is a co-sponsor of the LWCF bill.

The bill is the "Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013." The Outdoor Industry Association's report on the economic impact of outdoor recreation is at OutdoorIndustry.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT