Letters: Momentum for public lands and waters in Congress should include Montana

It’s been with great anticipation that I’ve watched the passage of several public lands and outdoor recreation bills in in the U.S. House of Representatives the last few weeks. Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, New Mexico’s Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, and Arizona’s Grand Canyon Centennial Act all passed in the span of a single week. Things are lining up nicely for support for similar Northern Rockies bills, should they be introduced to the House.

As I look to our Montana delegation, however, my heart sinks. Of our three delegation members, Tester has a deep and diverse record of supporting legislation that will ensure Montana continues to enjoy healthy public lands and waters, and the associated outdoor recreation economy. Senator Daines and Senator Gianforte have jumped on late and weakly to a few past opportunities and have shown little to no willingness to act as leaders in this session of Congress, in spite of the fact that our state relies on at least $7 billion dollars in outdoor recreation spending each and every year.

Thank you, Senator Tester. Senator Daines, it’s your turn to step up. There are public lands bills, water compacts, and full LWCF funding awaiting your support. Representative Gianforte, Montanans are counting on you to capitalize on the momentum in the House on behalf of conservation!

Daphne Herling, Missoula