Protect public lands
In early 2018, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte tried to remove protections from Wilderness Study Areas comprising over 1.2 million acres of Montana’s public lands. These land grab bills did not seek input from Montana voters nor allowed more access to public lands. The bills would fill wish lists for extractive industries, development for the wealthy and motorized use. No consideration for natural landscapes, wild animals or quiet refuges was contained in these bills.
Daines claims he is interested in building consensus from Montanans and key stakeholders. Kerry White, Theresa Manzella and Jennifer Fielder are three state representatives, not key stakeholders. A couple county commissions supported their bills. Other county commissions requested hearings in their communities so citizens could give input, ask questions and get language in to the bills representing issues important to them. More voices are needed to consider changes to protections for over a million acres of federal lands.
Montanans want access; look at corner crossing legislation to help us access public lands. Montanans want quiet spaces with intact ecosystems to hunt, fish, hike and recreate on. Daines and Gianforte, take the lead in creating lasting protections and access to our public landscapes.
We hope our feedback will be represented.
Frances Galvin, Bill Clark, Anaconda