Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

Daily Newscasts

Land and Water Conservation Fund Revived in Omnibus Spending Bill

Montana's fish and wildlife got a boost as the Land and Water Conservation Fund is set to be approved as part of the omnibus spending bill in the U.S. Congress. (TPS Dave/Pixabay)
Montana's fish and wildlife got a boost as the Land and Water Conservation Fund is set to be approved as part of the omnibus spending bill in the U.S. Congress. (TPS Dave/Pixabay)
December 17, 2015

HELENA, Mont. - The Land and Water Conservation Fund is back from the dead, at least temporarily, because Congress included it in the omnibus spending bill that is supposed to get a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives today.

The 50-year-old program takes millions in royalties paid by oil and gas firms from drilling on public land and in public waters and uses it to pay for many things from local sports fields to large conservation projects.

John Gale,conservation director with Back Country Hunters and Anglers, says this stopgap solution doesn't go far enough.

"We're a little disappointed that they didn't take advantage of the opportunity to create permanent victory for LWCF in taking advantage of the wide support for permanent reauthorization," says Gale.

LWCF was allowed to expire in September in the face of opposition from Utah Representative Rob Bishop, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee. Bishop introduced his own bill that would severely limit LWCF land acquisition and divert part of the money for other purposes.

Vicky Hoover with the Sierra Club says she's happy with the current compromise that funds LWCF for three years, with $450 million next year.

"We'd really like to thank the Montana congressional delegation that has been steadfast supporters of reauthorization," says Hoover. "So we look forward to working with our supporters next year and we will seek permanent reauthorization."

Legislators have inserted permanent reauthorization into three separate bills in 2015 but they have not been allowed to come to a full vote.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT