Public Lands Belong to Us

Montanans know how to manage our land

By Jivan Zeisse

Sen. Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte have introduced legislation that has the potential to harm some 800,000 acres of Montana’s finest open spaces: our Wilderness Study Areas. These areas are obscure to most, but cherished by many, just like our fine state. Communities that surround these places depend on them for their municipal watersheds, and for “backdoor backcountry” outdoor recreation, and as wildlife havens. These places are beloved – and relied upon – by their neighboring communities.

Montanans know how to manage our land. We don’t need Washington to tell us how to do it. We have a natural-resource based economy that thrives when local folks come together to manage the land in a way that benefits the community. And you know what? Most of the time that means working together to include timber, outdoor recreation, ranching, conservation and other interests in the mix. Just managing for one use would not be balanced – and that’s just bad business.

These public lands belong to us: let’s send a message to Senator Daines and Congressman Gianforte to drop their top-down proposal and stop playing politics with our natural resource economy.

Contact Gianforte’s office Daines’ offices to let them hear how Montanans feel on this issue.

Jivan Zeisse
Whitefish

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