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Pine Creek Lake. Photo by Walker Stole

Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area (photo by Eric Ian)

Just when we thought the attacks on our wildest, most pristine public lands couldn’t get worse, yesterday Congressman Greg Gianforte introduced two bills that would open over 700,000 acres of public lands to hard-rock mining, oil and gas development, commercial logging, and motorized recreation. 

Rooster Comb in the Sapphire Wilderness Study Area

If Senator Steve Daines has his way, you might find a gold mine where you used to find native trout up beautiful Blue Joint Creek or off-road vehicles ripping through vast wet meadows in the Sapphires, some of the best elk habitat in the Lower 48.

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area (photo by Zack Porter)

Congressman Gianforte turned his back on Montana's time-honored backcountry values and traditions and on the places we hold so dear.

Blue Joint Wilderness Study Area in western Montana (photo by Zack Porter)

If this bill were to pass, it would represent the single biggest loss of protected public lands in our state’s history.

The Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area in the heart of the Gallatin Range (photo by Louise Johns)

Sen. Daines is demanding Montana’s wild legacy as ransom for doing what thousands of Montanans have asked him to do – to support this mineral withdrawal and protect the economy of the Yellowstone gateway.

Backpacking the Trilobite Range in the Bob Marshall Wilderness (photo by Lee Boman)

This week, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would allow any government entity to build roads and allow motorized vehicles on American public lands currently protected as Wilderness areas.