Amidst the stalemate that has befallen our federal government, it is refreshing to see a bipartisan approach stand up to the test of Congress. Recently, the Congressional House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environment Regulation heard from Congressman Steve Daines, and Whitefish City Councilman John Anderson, on the value and importance of our public lands. Specifically, Daines sees eye to eye with our U.S. senators on the commonsense proposal to protect the North Fork of the Flathead River and the North Fork watershed in the Flathead Valley.
This bipartisanship stands out in a Congress that is gridlocked, and amidst a government that is shut down. As a business owner in Missoula, I am glad to see our elected officials stand up for what is good for Montana. A recent poll found that 70 percent of Montana businesses say “the Montana outdoor lifestyle” is a factor in deciding to locate or expand their business in Montana. Additionally, 89 percent say that national parks, forests and wildlife areas are an essential part of Montana’s economy.
To all involved, “this bill makes sense,” as Anderson noted during his testimony. It is also the first time in almost 30 years the Montana delegation has supported public lands legislation in a bipartisan manner; a move in the right direction. Maybe the rest of the U.S. Congress could stand to learn something from the way we are getting things done in Montana.
Alex Philp, director and founder
GCS Research, Missoula
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