OPINION: Never give up on defending Montana’s public lands

Once again, the Rally for Public Lands at the State Capitol was proof that our public lands and outdoor way of life bind us. The numbers bear it out: 89% of Montanans visit public lands every year. Sixty-four percent hunt or fish. Seventy-nine percent consider themselves conservationists. Eighty-nine percent say public lands positively impact our overall quality of life. These values are the common ground on which we build strong families and pass on the traditions that shape us.

But some fringe state lawmakers don’t seem to share these values.

These lawmakers are attacking our outdoor way of life. This legislature, they’ve introduced bills to pave the way to transfer public lands out of public hands (House Bill 320). They’ve proudly gone after public access (Senate Bills 354 and 115) and tried to strip millions from key public lands projects (House Bills 670, 683, 701, and 707). They’ve tried to build roads through national parks (House Bill 418), overturn a citizen initiative to privatize wildlife held in public trust (Senate Bill 143), and allow motorized vehicles on non-motorized trails (House Bill 281).

Read more from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle here...

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