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Oct 15 2018

The Best Way to Keep Public Lands in Public Hands

Voting might not be sexy, but it works.


Over the last 3 months, close to 8,000 Montanans have pledged to vote to keep public lands in public hands. 

As part of that pledge work, I’ve been spending a lot of time out talking to Montanans and encouraging them to vote for public lands. One question I hear a lot is “How am I supposed to vote for public lands if public lands aren’t on the ballot?” 

The answer is that, because public lands decisions are guided by elected officials, public lands are always on the ballot. Our elected officials are paying attention each and every election to who is voting and who is staying on the sidelines. They know that if they want to continue to hold public office, they have to be responsive to powerful voting blocs. So if we want our elected officials to protect public lands from development, designate new Wilderness, or simply keep them in public ownership, we must demonstrate to them that we are a powerful voting bloc. 

We do that by (1) voting in large numbers in every single election and, when we do, (2) identifying ourselves as conservationists. 

One easy way to do just that is by signing our pledge to vote to keep public lands in public hands. Not only will it help reaffirm your commitment to vote in this election (in some circumstances, pledgers are more than twice as likely to vote as non-pledgers) but it will help us demonstrate to lawmakers that our supporters from across the state are voting in large numbers.

Our success in defending wild places in the coming months and years depends on conservationists casting ballots this fall. So we encourage you, if you love our public lands and wild places (and we know you do!) to take the pledge and cast a ballot on November 6th. 

- Noah Marion, policy and advocacy manager







P.S. If you have questions about your voter registration, absentee ballot, or polling location, check out Montana’s My Voter Page, and, remember, even if you’re not registered now, you can register up until 8 p.m. on election day!