The Missoulian posted extensive coverage of yesterday’s rally for public lands in Helena, including a photo spread and videos . . .
The Capitol rotunda played host to a raucous crowd of public land advocates Monday, many traveling from across the state to denounce land transfer efforts while calling for improving access.
Organizers estimated more than 1,000 people packed the main rotunda floor and lined the balconies above, which was about double the attendance of a similar rally held during the 2015 legislative session. Many rally-goers loaded buses in Missoula, Billings and Bozeman to attend while smaller contingencies came from other locales, including about 40 from Sanders County.
They came to tell the Legislature in no uncertain terms that public lands are not just parcels on a map but define Montana as a state, and Montanans as a people.
We received the following announcement a couple of days ago from the Montana Wilderness Association about a public lands rally in Helena at noon on January 30. By all accounts, last year’s rally was a big success. This one may very well be even bigger . . .
Our public lands are under attack.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a rule change that would make it easier for Congress to not just sell off our public lands, but to give them away. Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, our likely next secretary of Interior, voted for the measure.
This comes a few days after Montana state Senator Jennifer Fielder submitted two joint resolution drafts in the legislature, one calling for a study of transferring national public lands to the state and the other calling for outright transfer – the first step in selling off our public lands.
With the changes brought on by the 2016 election, the threat of losing our public lands and our outdoor way of life is perhaps now greater than it’s ever been.
We need to fight back.
That’s why we’re holding a Rally for Public Lands on Monday, January 30 at noon under the State Capitol Rotunda in Helena.
This is your chance to let our elected officials know that our outdoor way of life defines who we are as Montanans, and we will always fight back against any attempts to seize the public lands that enable us to lead that life.
Join us in sending the message to our state and federal elected officials: public lands belong in public hands.
Speakers at the rally will include Governor Steve Bullock, mountaineering legend Conrad Anker, fly fishing guide and TV host Hilary Hutcheson, and K.C. Walsh, CEO of Simms fishing company.