Dear Senator Daines,
We are the future of Montana, we represent hundreds of civically active and concerned young people across our great state.
Whether Republican or Democrat, Libertarian or Independent, Green or Unaffiliated, the last election has only heightened our sense of distance from and distrust in our government. When we reach out to elected officials to voice our hopes and concerns, we wonder whether anyone is truly listening.
When we ask for your support of programs that Montanans depend on, like the Land Water Conservation Fund, we hope you’ll listen to us. Since its inception in 1965, the Land Water Conservation Fund has allocated nearly $600 million to the building, protection, stewardship of public parks, trails, national monuments, heritage sites, and waterways.
Though you’ve repeatedly said that you’re committed to full funding for the Land Water Conservation Fund, you’ve taken a number of actions that directly threaten the program’s funding level.
- In April, you voted to confirm David Barnhardt as Secretary of the Interior, shortly thereafter Sec. Bernhardt completely defunded the Land Water Conservation Fund in the administration’s budget proposal.
- In May, you sent a letter to your Senate Appropriations Committee colleagues asking just two-thirds of the necessary full funding for the Land Water Conservation Fund.
- Though your party controls both the Senate and the White House and you serve on committees relevant to the Land Water Conservation Fund, you’ve made no progress to ensure S1081 is passed or that the Land Water Conservation Fund is fully funded through the appropriation’s process.
Our public lands, parks, monuments, and waterways are cherished by all Montanans. That’s why we’re inviting you to meet with us in Montana. We want to connect with you — to hear about your ideas for the future of the Land Water Conservation Fund and to share our own.
We invite you to participate in two town halls in person in Bozeman and Billings before October 1st. These town halls should be well publicized, free and open to the public, provide enough seating for all who would like to attend and provide ample opportunity for questions and answers.
We look forward to seeing you at a town hall near us, Senator Daines.
Forward Montana Foundation