WASHINGTON – Sportsmen are commending Montana’s Rep. Ryan Zinke, who yesterday afternoon cast a vote in opposition of a joint congressional budget resolution that includes a provision facilitating the sale or transfer of federal public lands.
“Montana is not for sale,” stated Zinke, who bucked party lines in opposing the budget resolution, which would reduce the deficit by imposing substantial cuts in funding. While non-binding, the legislation sets overall levels for federal spending programs and is expected to advance in a U.S. Senate vote next week. Ultimately, the resolution passed the House of Representatives last night 226-197.
Zinke’s vote elicited praise from the national sportsmen’s group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which remains vocally opposed to the sale or transfer of public lands.
Montana Sportsmen Stung by Daines' Reversal on Public Land Sales
MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana sportsmen are strongly questioning U.S. Sen. Steve Daines for supporting a controversial amendment that would enable the sale of America's public lands.
Daines cast the deciding vote late Thursday that resulted in the Senate's 51-49 approval of Amendment 838. The amendment allows the federal government "to sell or transfer to, or exchange with, a State or local government any Federal land that is not within the boundaries of a National Park, National Preserve, or National Monument." Both Republicans and Democrats opposed the amendment.
"Montana's hunters and anglers are deeply troubled by Senator Daines' support for selling our federal lands," said John Sullivan, co-chair of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers' Montana Chapter. "Just a few weeks ago, Senator Daines told Montanans he opposes selling our public lands, but now he supports this terrible idea from Washington, D.C. Actions speak louder than words, and the senator's action last night has sent shock waves throughout the state."
Dear Montana BHA Member:
As you know, in 2014 Montana hunters and anglers saw new attacks on public lands, waters and the habitats they provide for fish and wildlife. Most of us choose to live in Montana, often at some economic sacrifice, because of these special resources and the opportunity to use them. Despite being an all-volunteer organization, we have been extremely busy this year protecting the state’s resources and opportunities. We appreciate your continued support, and urge you to get involved this coming year. We need your ideas, energy and involvement. Contact one of us if you have an interest!
*2014 MT BHA Accomplishments*
What: Rally for Public Lands
When: February 16th, High Noon
Where: Montana State Capitol. Second Floor Rotunda
Who: Montana Wildlife Federation, Montana Wilderness Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Montana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy
Why: The Transfer of Public Lands is a hot button issue this legislative session. Powerful out of state interests are wooing our legislators to pursue a dangerous and economically disastrous path that would lead to excessive litigation and ultimately, if successful – less access and more taxes for Montanans. That’s why we’re jumping back on the bus and heading to Helena to fight back and make sure that the Legislature understands loud and clear that our public lands are not a toy for politicians to play with.
The Rally be at high noon, on February 16th, 2015 in the Capitol Rotunda on the second floor. Guest speakers are:
Steve Bullock, Governor Montana
David Allen, President and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Buses are available for citizens who wish to take advantage of them. Please RSVP for transportation by calling the Bus Coordinator associated with the town from which you will depart
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.