U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Jon Tester has secured $1.3 million dollars to help Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) acquire 105.67 acres of land along the north shore of Flathead Lake called Somers Beach for the creation of a new state park. Tester also announced an additional $472,500 to help FWP clean up and renovate Westside Park in Missoula.

“Folks come to Western Montana from all across the world to enjoy our unique landscapes, and this is great news for our economy and for everyone who cares about our public lands,” Tester said. “I am proud to have helped secure this funding, and I look forward to continuing our work to ensure these lands – and the outdoor recreation economy that depends on them – will remain open to the public for generations to come.”

The new state park at Somers Beach will sit on eastern edge of the town of Somers, Montana and will be administered by Montana FWP. The Westside Park project will include demolition of an outdated playground, basketball court, and asphalt walkways, and fund new construction including utility extension, a concrete playground pod, new playground toys, a multi-use paved court, new paved paths and landscape improvements.

Tester secured the funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which uses revenues from oil and gas leasing to fund conservation and recreation priorities across the nation. Tester pushed for full, permanent funding for the LWCF, and secured it by passing the Great American Outdoors Act, which funds the program at $900 million annually and allocated $9.5 billion to address maintenance backlogs on public lands across the United States.

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