TV Host & Montana Senator discuss outdoor heritage in 3 short videos
MISSOULA – Randy Newberg, host of the The Sportsman Channels’ Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg, wants Congress to stop raiding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and he’s teaming up with U.S. Senator Jon Tester to draw attention to the fund’s importance for hunting and fishing access.
As Congress negotiates a budget deal, Newberg is releasing a series of YouTube videos from a recent interview with Tester about the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Tester is former chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and a longtime supporter of The Fund. Congress set up the Land & Water Conservation Fund in 1964 to direct royalties from offshore oil drilling royalties—not taxes—to fund public access to parks, playgrounds, fishing ramps and wildlife habitat.
However, Congress has failed to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund in recent years. In fact, some recent budget proposals have zeroed out the fund altogether.
“There’s incredible land out there that’s going to be lost if we don’t keep money into those funds,” Sen. Tester says in the interview. “And who’s the ultimate loser? It’s the sportsmen. It’s the general public. It’s the clean water and clean air.”
Randy Newberg noted that the No. 1 reason people give for giving up hunting is the fact they have lost access to wildlife habitat. That’s a big problem not only for hunters and anglers, but for the many wildlife conservation programs they support nationwide.
“I would like to thank the Senator — and elected officials of all political persuasions, — who recognize how critical the Land and Water Conservation Fund is to the future of our Great Outdoors,” said Newberg. “Now is the time to educate lawmakers about how important hunting and fishing access is to America’s economy and way of life.”
Newberg noted that fishing access sites all along Montana’s famous trout streams, and thousands of acres of big game habitat, would be behind “no trespassing” signs if it were not for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“A deal is a deal,” Newberg said. “Sportsmen need to stick to our guns if we want to keep our access, as America grows and develops.”
“The Land & Water Conservation Fund is part of America’s hunting and angling legacy,” Said Land Tawney, Executive Director of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “Access matters, and LWCF is a vital part of the tool kit we use to secure access to public lands and improve our ability to manage wildlife for everyone. It’s great to see Prime Time Hunting Shows like Fresh Tracks and elected officials like Senator Tester promote fiscally conservative methods to protect that heritage, and the multi-billion dollar economy that is served through public lands.”
“There’s incredible land out there that’s going to be lost if we don’t keep money into those funds,” Tester says in the interview. “And who’s the ultimate loser? It’s the sportsmen. It’s the general public. It’s the clean water and clean air.”
The U.S. House of Representatives recently tried to eliminate all funding from LWCF.
“For me, my mind can’t even go there—where there’s no LWCF to help fund critical public access like this,” Newberg says. “It’s hard for me to imagine that.”