Daines Needs to Send Clear Message on Public Lands

Where are his calls to protect our future access to public lands as well as our environmental quality?

By Ryan Krueger

Montana Sen. Steve Daines submitted a letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Dec. 9 where he outlined actions that the incoming president should take to grow our national economy. After reviewing Daines’ recommendations, it is apparent that he continues to support antiquated modes of thinking that seem poised to help very few Montanans directly. His loyalties instead appear more in-line with corporate interests that seek to exploit state resources with actions that undermine access to and the quality of our outdoor recreation amenities.

Daines paints in broad strokes in support of extractive industries that do not represent the future, but instead a past that will irrevocably continue to negatively impact Montana’s environment, economy, and our national security. Absent in the senator’s lengthy letter is mention of our outdoor recreation economy in Montana. According to the Outdoor Industries of America, the outdoor recreation economy contributes to 64,000 direct jobs and $1.5 billion in wages across the state. Where are his calls to protect our future access to public lands as well as our environmental quality?

I ask Daines to send a clear message in follow up to President-elect Trump that he supports our public lands and environmental protections. To neglect to do so would clearly reveal the senator’s true character and should make all Montanans question if he will be an effective representative for this state for the future.

Ryan Krueger
Whitefish

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