Montana Voices: Daines, Gianforte on the wrong side of public lands

Montanans know what makes our state spectacular: the vast public landscapes we hold dear. Not only are public lands our playgrounds, they are vital to Montana’s economic well-being.

On December 7, Senator Daines introduced a bill to remove protection from five wilderness study areas across Montana. In doing so, he unilaterally decided that nearly 500,000 acres of invaluable land should no longer belong to the people of Montana.

He proposed all of this without a single public meeting to hear the voices of the Montanans he is supposed to represent.

His bill comes on the heels of a string of attacks by the Trump Administration – including Ryan Zinke – on the irreplaceable public places that are America’s most valuable resources.

Hunters and anglers, backpackers and skiiers, ranchers and outfitters – every Montanan has a common interest in protecting the security of our wild places so that we all may thrive.

Let it be clear to Sen. Daines, Sen. Tester, and Rep. Gianforte that we will do everything in our power to protect public lands. And we will vote for those who will preserve the wilderness legacy that makes Montana the Last Best Place.

Nancy de Pastino, Missoula