Here’s a pretty straightforward op-ed from the MWA’s Brian Sybert on public lands issues and the importance of working together to address them . . .
It’s been near impossible to miss the headlines about armed extremists and radical politicians trying to destroy our national public lands legacy. From Washington, D.C., to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, selfishness and delusional interpretations of the U.S Constitution have come together in support of a disastrous agenda aimed squarely at one thing: taking national public lands away from the American people.
But neither the armed militants at Malheur nor the suit-clad lands transfer zealots in Utah and D.C. have anticipated how much the American people, Westerners in particular, value public lands. In January, Colorado College released its sixth-annual bipartisan Conservation in the West Poll, showing that Western voters, including Montanans, see American public lands as integral to our economy and way of life and overwhelmingly oppose efforts to weaken and seize those lands.
The poll also revealed that Westerners strongly support people working together to find common-ground solutions to public land challenges, and herein lies the antidote to the toxic anti-public lands agenda represented by the likes of the Bundy gang and the American Lands Council. Community-driven collaboratives not only result in the protection of wild places, the creation of new jobs and the advancement of our public lands legacy, they also nourish our nation’s democracy.