FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 11, 2020
Gianforte Opposes LWCF Full Funding – Again
Gianforte’s deep resentment towards public lands out-of-touch with 76% of Montanans
Helena, MT – Elected officials across Montana are urging Congress to approve full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a move supported by an overwhelming majority of Montanans (76%). According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Greg Gianforte still “doesn’t support requiring full funding for the program,” which supports projects that protect recreational access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities, and has broad bipartisan support.
Gianforte has long held deeply out-of-touch views on public lands – he has sued the state of Montana to block access to a local fishing hole near one of his several properties, and has written legislation to strip protections from nearly 700,000 acres of public lands — without public input — a move described by conservation advocates as potentially “the single biggest rollback of protected public lands in Montana history.”
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated outdoors businesses – a recent survey shows that 79% of industry employers have had to lay off or furlough employees due to COVID-19, and 89% have lost revenue. As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on Montana’s tourism and outdoors industries, Gianforte remains opposed to this common sense, bipartisan program to protect our public lands, which is even supported by President Trump.
In business, Gianforte was eager to accept millions of dollars in government contracts. Up to 20 percent of his company’s revenue came from government institutions, adding up to more than $34 million in taxpayer dollars. But when it comes to Montana’s public lands, Gianforte can’t wait to starve funding for and block access to our greatest natural resource.
“Full funding for the LWCF is a no-brainer. But not for Greg Gianforte, who views Montana’s public lands as burdensome assets waiting to be sold off to the highest bidder,” said MDP Executive Director Sandi Luckey. “Public lands belong in public hands. But if elected governor, Montanans can expect Greg Gianforte to side with his wealthy out-of-state friends who want to privatize our state’s treasured heritage.”
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