The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is asking Congress to vote in favor of critical conservation and sportsmen issues just approved by Congressional leadership in the latest omnibus budget agreement.

Spokesman Mark Holyoak said the Land and Water Conservation Fund sunsetted at the end of September.

"The monies came from drilling and were directly used to fund conservation work," he said. "The legislation, which is mandatory to avoid a government shutdown, reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund through 2018. It also permanently authorized an incentive toward the creation of conservation easements on privately owned land which will assist farmers and ranchers to permanently protect important wildlife habitat."

Holyoak said a group of politicians worked together to help the program be successful.

"A bipartisan effort of western congressional leaders worked together to secure this legislation for wildlife, sportsmen and landowners; all critical elements to healthy elk country," he said. "These issues have been and will remain priorities for RMEF and our members since they need to be addressed and are not going away anytime soon.”

"We're good for another three years," Holyoak said, "but we really want this program to funded permanently."

In a news release, Holyoak said.:

Congressional leaders appropriated $450 million for LWCF in FY2016, a $100 million increase from 2015 levels. Since 1990, RMEF has utilized more than $85 million in LWCF funding across 62 projects in ten different states in partnership with federal agencies to protect, conserve and open access to some of the most vital elk country in the United States.