Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Keep Public Lands in Public Hands!

Like people everywhere, we Montanans don’t always agree. We often engage in spirited debates and disagreements about how our wildlife and wild places should or shouldn’t be managed. But one thing that unites most all of us: Our love for public lands.

Setting aside these lands is one of the greatest things our nation ever did. It's a unique American heritage that, particularly here in Montana, shapes and enhances our lives. For many of us, it defines who we are. What would life be like without the freedom to hunt, fish and roam our public wild lands?

If some folks get their way, we might find out.

There is a bill under consideration in Congress that would lead to the sale of our public lands throughout the West, including Montana. Several Montana state legislators support and promote efforts to sell or transfer our public lands. There are powerful, influential organizations, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council and the American Lands Council, pushing for the sale or transfer of our public lands.

We won’t let them have it.

We Montanans get pretty riled up about proposals to sell or transfer our public lands. Yesterday, January 30, more than 1,000 of us, from all walks of life -- Democrats, Republicans, hunters, anglers, environmentalists, bird watchers, hikers, photographers, loggers, ranchers, Native Americans, and others, from all over Montana -- converged on the Capitol in Helena to convey a loud, clear, unified message: KEEP OUR PUBLIC LANDS IN PUBLIC HANDS!

As Governor Steve Bullock succinctly put it at yesterday’s rally in the Capitol: “Every one of us owns these public lands, and the beauty is we don’t need permission to go on them, do we? Efforts to sell or transfer public lands have no place in this building and no place in Montana.”

These are our lands; we plan to keep them.

Thanks to the groups who organized and sponsored this great rally:
Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Conservation Voters, Montana Audubon, and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers -- and thank you to everyone who showed up.
If you'd like to show your support for Montana's public lands, please sign this petition: mtgreatoutdoors.org

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