Obama Proposes $29M for Land Conservation Projects in Montana

Yesterday, President Barack Obama released his proposal for 2013 land acquisitions through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which includes initiatives expanding Glacier National Park and creating conservation easements.

The fund takes royalties from offshore oil and gas production to improve public lands. The Montana National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Widllife Service, and Forest Service budgets could see up to $29 million from the president's proposal. {C}

This from the Billings Gazette:

_"Ovando rancher Jim Stone visited with Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last Friday at the White House Conservation Conference in Washington, D.C. The meeting grew out of the president's new America's Great Outdoors Initiative, which kicked off last year in Ovando before going nationwide.

'That's one of the things we've been missing for a lot of years here is the ability to interact with the administration,' Stone said. 'That was one of our initial requests — if you want to talk large landscapes, we need to be able to touch base with folks inside the administration. Now I think these guys are listening to folks out on the ground' ...

'We're pleased to see that now and the value that's put on conservation of lands," Glacier Park Spokesperson Denise Germann said of the president's budget proposal. "I would anticipate that may change before it's a final budget. Congress has to agree to all this.'"_

OK, Congress. Don't screw this up.