Gianforte Votes to Fix National Park Maintenance Backlog, Permanently Reauthorize LWCF
Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte today voted to fix the maintenance backlog at our national parks and to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Gianforte spoke in support of both measures which advanced through the House Natural Resources Committee today.
“I appreciate the committee moving forward on the Trump administration’s goal of funding the National Parks’ maintenance backlog,” Gianforte said. “Yellowstone and Glacier parks continue to draw people from around the world to Montana, and this bill will provide the funding needed to preserve these areas for future generations.”
The Department of Interior’s total deferred maintenance backlog stands at $16 billion, including $11.6 billion for the National Park Service. The maintenance backlog has resulted in restrictions on visitor access and safety issues in national parks.
Gianforte sponsored the bipartisan Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, H.R. 6510, which establishes, funds, and provides for the use of amounts in a National Park Service and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund to address the maintenance backlog of the National Park Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education.
Regarding legislation to permanently reauthorize LWCF, Gianforte said he was “very encouraged” to see it move forward.
“Susan and I raised our children hunting, fishing, and backpacking on our public lands, which are central to our Montana way of life,” Gianforte said. “I know how important LWCF is to Montana, and I support its permanent reauthorization. I will continue being a strong voice for the LWCF as it helps preserve and expand Montanans’ access to our public lands.”
Gianforte also sponsored H.R. 502 which permanently reauthorizes the LWCF. Gianforte has worked across party lines for the fund’s permanent reauthorization and has voted for it twice previously.
On March 16, 2018, Gianforte joined a bipartisan group of 204 members of Congress on a letter (HERE) to the chairman and ranking member of an appropriations subcommittee, urging them to ensure “LWCF programs receive strong and consistent support in FY 2019 in order to maintain our commitment to conservation and recreation.”
On March 9, 2018, Gianforte and 27 members of Congress sent a letter (HERE) to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, asking him to have a vote on LWCF reauthorization.
On November 10, 2017, Gianforte voted for permanent reauthorization of LWCF in the House Natural Resources Committee.
On October 5, 2017, Gianforte spoke in support of permanent reauthorization of LWCF at a press conference with a bipartisan group of senators and congressmen as well as the Nature Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, and other groups.
On September 13, 2017, Gianforte voted for permanent reauthorization of LWCF in the House Natural Resources Committee.