Why ‘Reform’ Land and Water Conservation Fund?

Why in the world does Rep. Ryan Zinke want to “reform” this program?

By Lou Bruno

If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. Those are words to live by, and yet, Rep. Ryan Zinke seems hell bent on trying to fix what ain’t broke.

Take the Land and Water Conservation Fund. There are many reasons why outdoor recreation is a $6 billion industry in Montana, but one of the most important reasons is fishing. Tourists come to Montana from all over the world to cast a fly in our blue-ribbon trout steams, and they can do so with ease across the state because Montana has hundreds of fishing access sites, most of which have been created through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

So, why in the world does Rep. Ryan Zinke want to “reform” this program, which happens to be working just fine without his help?

Only Zinke knows the answer to that question. Zinke purports to value Montana’s public lands and wildlife, but his true colors come out when addressing this issue. While his position on LWCF becomes increasingly cloudy, Montanans actually have a clear choice to make in this election. Do we want someone who will defend our outdoor heritage every time and conserve our last best places, or do we want someone whose positions on public lands change with the wind?

What Montanans need in Congress is a true conservationist, not a “reformer” on a mission to fix what isn’t broken.

Lou Bruno
East Glacier Park

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