This is a direct, to-the-point statement just released by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock concerning efforts to “review” the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument . . .
Today, I sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke urging that no changes be made to the designation of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
In May, Secretary Zinke began a review of over 20 National Monuments from around the country pursuant to an Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump. The Missouri River Breaks was one of the monuments designated for review. As part of this process, Secretary Zinke reached out to me for my comments and recommendations regarding the Missouri Breaks National Monument.
The Missouri River Breaks offers world-class, once-in-a-lifetime public lands hunting opportunities for trophy mule-deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. Opportunities like these attract over 130,000 visitors to the area every year and provide an annual influx of $10 million to the local economy. The local economy has come to depend on this. In addition to attracting more visitors, the region has sustained growth in many measures of local economic health and prosperity—including a 23 percent increase in real capita income.
Finally, the Missouri Breaks has remained largely unchanged for over 200 years. The monument designation helps keep it that way for our children and grandchildren to share. For these reasons, I strongly recommended that no changes in the size or to the designation of the Monument should be made.
Places like the Missouri River Breaks are important to Montanans and play a significant role in our way of life. These public lands are our heritage and support an unmatched quality of life. I will continue to fight to preserve public access to our lands, rivers, and streams and I oppose any effort that jeopardizes or calls into question the future of the Missouri River Breaks or any other part of our public lands heritage.
As Secretary Zinke continues his review of the Missouri River Breaks National Monument designation, I urge you to reach out to him HERE to share your own comments and experiences within the area.
Our national monuments are under attack! Please speak out in support of them by writing a letter to Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke. In Montana, the Upper Missouri River Breaks is one of the monuments under review. (See the recent NFPA letter to Ryan Zinke for ideas and for Secretary Zinke’s mailing address.)
Also, there will be a Rally for National Monuments in Whitefish where Secretary Zinke will be addressing the Western Governor’s Conference on Tuesday, June 27 at noon in Depot Park. This rally is being organized by a group of conservation organizations in our area. We need as many people to attend as possible so please pass the word …and bring friends and family members.
Your voice is needed to stop an anti-public lands resolution in the Montana Legislature. This resolution, HJ9, comes before the House Natural Resources Committee at 3:00pm today!
Representative Kerry White, a leading proponent of the scheme to transfer and privatize public lands across Montana, has introduced a joint resolution (HJ9) last Friday calling for the release of our state’s most prized wilderness study areas. If that occurred, the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn, West Pioneer, Blue Joint, Sapphire, Ten Lakes, Middle Fork Judith, and Big Snowies Wilderness Study Areas would all become vulnerable to development. Years of collaborative work by Montanans to help shape the future of these areas would also be laid to waste.
Montana has 44 wilderness study areas, covering more than a million acres and encompassing some of our most stunning landscapes. They elevate our quality of life while contributing to our local economies. They provide important habitat for big game and other wildlife, support vital fisheries for downstream blue-ribbon streams, and offer world-class recreation opportunities. They are also critical sources of clean water for nearby communities.
Since this is a resolution and not a bill, it cannot be vetoed by the Governor. However, if this resolution passes it will embolden anti-public lands representatives in Congress to release wilderness study areas across the country, including Montana.
NFPA urges you to TAKE ACTION NOW and contact the members of the House Natural Resources Committee.