At the end of 2017, Senator Steve Daines quietly introduced legislation that would remove protections from nearly a half-million acres of public lands in Montana. If this bill passes, it'd be the single largest elimination of protected lands in the history of our state. And Daines did so without offering a comment period or hosting a legitimate public hearing.
But now, the public finally has an opportunity to weigh in.
On Wednesday, the Ravalli County Commission is holding a public meeting at 10am in Hamilton to discuss the future of two of the five Wilderness Study Areas at risk: the Sapphire and Blue Joint WSAs. Although the five commissioners initially supported the bill, they are now holding a hearing to ask what their constituents think.
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has publicly expressed our opposition of this bill due to its one-size-fits-all approach to the management of these special, unique places. Instead, we're requesting a collaborative, locally driven management plan for each of the WSAs in question.
It's important that public land owners of Ravalli County show up to let the Commission know what locals really think about this bill.
Wednesday, February 7th
Commissioners Conference Room
215 S. 4th Street - 3rd floor
Hamilton, MT 59840
If you can't make the hearing, we ask that you still send in your comments to the Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for standing up for public lands!