Baucus Wants Land Acquisition Bill Funded


According to the Department of the Interior, “The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Program provides matching grants to States and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. The program is intended to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of high quality recreation areas and facilities and to stimulate non-federal investments in the protection and maintenance of recreation resources across the United States.”

A piece of legislation re-introduced by Montana Senator Max Baucus and New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman last week aims to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund that was created by Congress in 1965 to the tune of $900 million.  In a climate nervous about wild lands and national monuments, many in the agriculture community are hesitant to get behind a program with the word “acquisition” right in its government description.

Jim Magagna, Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, outlined their concerns about fully funding the bill.

According to a press release from Senator Baucus, the LWCF received $306 million in 2010 funding.  Jim tells us that even at that current funding level, they have recommended changes to the program.  That includes taking the money out of the federal land acquisitions pot and putting that money towards private sector land trusts or conservation easement acquisitions.

For more information on the Land and Water Conservation Fund, visit the Department of the Interior’s program website.

© Northern Ag Network 2011

Haylie Shipp



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