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Pine Creek Lake. Photo by Walker Stole
Jul 15 2016

A Vision and a Mission for Our Public Lands

Sec. Jewell and Gov. Bullock each provide blueprint for protecting and promoting our outdoor way of life

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In May, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell stood on the shores of the Missouri River near Helena and described her vision for the next 100 years of conservation. That vision included stepping up efforts to protect and connect wildlands and waterways across the nation, to inspire young people to experience our public lands, and to ensure that the economic value of outdoor recreation on public lands is fully appreciated by our elected officials and decision makers. 

Not long after the secretary came to Montana, Governor Steve Bullock stood on the banks on the Yellowstone River in Billings and unveiled his public lands agenda for Montana. Like Secretary Jewell’s vision, Governor Bullock’s agenda recognizes and bolsters the critical role public lands play not just in our way of life, but also in our economy.

Sec. Jewell’s vision and Gov. Bullock’s agenda, both of which will help protect our state’s wild beauty and outdoor traditions, align with MWA’s mission.

Governor Bullock’s agenda includes:

  • Opposing the public lands transfer movement at every turn
  • Unfreezing and fully restoring Habitat Montana, the state’s premier habitat conservation and public land acquisition fund
  • Launching the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation so that the economic impact of public lands recreation can be fully realized
  • Creating a state job position that will help ensure that Montanans have access to public lands. 

Whether we’re talking about habitat for grizzly bears, cold and clean water for trout, the family camping trip, or local businesses, public lands play a huge role in the life of Montana. Having acknowledged that role, Governor Bullock has provided a pro-public lands agenda that will help counter the insidious movement to sell off our public lands.

The anti-public lands movement shows no sign of letting up. Whether using legislation to outright transfer millions of acres of National Forest or using falsified economic data to undermine America’s confidence in our National Parks, the proponents of seizing and selling off our publics and their allies in state capitols and Washington, D.C. have sent the message that no public lands are safe and that American values do not endure when held against their radical ideology. 
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Whether we’re talking about habitat for grizzly bears, cold and clean water for trout, the family camping trip, or local businesses, public lands play a huge role in the life of Montana.

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We believe one of the best ways to counter the anti-public lands extremists is by advancing a pro-public lands movement the celebrates the positive impact that public lands have on our heritage and way of life. Sec. Jewell’s vision for the next 100 years of conservation and Gov. Bullock’s agenda do just that. MWA will continue to mobilize Montanans across the state in support of both the vision and agenda.

Please take a moment to offer the governor some suggestions for how he might shape that agenda for your Montana community

Again, we thank our many members for being the power behind MWA’s work to safeguard our public lands from the forces that want to sell them off. Thank you for standing with us as we stand for Montana’s outdoor way of life and wilderness heritage. If you're not yet a member, please consider joining with us today in championing wild places and public lands across Montana.

- Brian Sybert, MWA executive director