Governor Steve Bullock today, Tuesday, announced that Montana had been awarded $409,615 for outdoor recreation and conservation projects. The grant comes from the popular Land & Water Conservation Fund, through the U.S. Department of Interior.

“Montanans know the value of our public lands, rivers and streams—it’s where our memories of hiking, fishing, or floating are created,” Bullock said. “We’re working to make sure the next generation of Montanans has the same opportunities to explore the wild places that we did growing up here.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations, and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. The primary source of revenue for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Land and Water Conservation Fund grants have been shown to have a significant economic impact. Studies have found that for every $1 invested in land acquisition generated a $4 return on the investment for communities.