We’re fortunate that Whitefish resident Melissa Hartman is running to represent us in the Montana Senate. She deserves your vote. I’ve gotten to know Melissa well over the past couple years and found her to be intelligent, fair, and willing to dig in and work hard on local solutions.
Her opponent, on the other hand, has proven to be an uncompromising ideologue. For example, Keith Regier cast the deciding vote in the House last year to kill a bipartisan infrastructure bill that had passed the Republican-held Senate.
One big difference between the candidates is public lands. Melissa wants to keep them in public hands. Regier wants to turn over the Flathead National Forest to state land managers, a short step away from privatization.
You may recall that local residents had to raise millions of dollars to keep state forests near Beaver Lake from being developed into trophy homesteads with no-trespassing signs. It cost huge sums to protect these working forests and secure the community’s right to build the Whitefish Trail.
That’s because the state is in the business of maximizing revenue from Montana state lands. So the community had to match the price that out-of-state developers would pay to privatize them.
If Keith Regier has his way, the Flathead National Forest will be privatized. Either that or we’re going to have to hold a lot more bake sales to keep public lands in public hands.
Better yet, vote for Melissa Hartman.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.