Reminder: There is a rally for public lands in Helena at noon on January 11. The following write-up is shamelessly stolen from an announcement sent out by Dave Hadden of Headwaters Montana . . .
What are you doing next Friday, January 11, 2019?
I plan to be in Helena at the Public Land Rally organized to tell the Montana Legislature to keep public lands in public hands and protect Montanans’ public land heritage.
You may have noticed that public lands across the West have come under increased pressure (some would say assault) from private interests seeking energy, minerals, timber, or personal benefit from the nation’s public lands.
The Montana Legislature’s majority membership has a history of listening to and favoring those private interests, including efforts to transfer public lands to state ownership – for possible dispossession to private ownership.
The Legislature convenes for its biennial 90-day session on January 7. We think it’s appropriate for them to get an early message from citizens from across the great state of Montana to support public lands and all the social, economic, environmental, and spiritual sustenance that they provide.
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.
The transfer of public lands continues to show its head in the Montana legislature although 85% of Montanans support keeping public lands in public hands. The abundance of public land in the North Fork is what makes it a special place.
NFPA invites you to a rally in Helena at the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, Jan. 30, at noon to show support for public lands. You are encouraged to dress in camo or blaze orange and to send a clear message to our elected officials that Montana sportsmen and women will not waver when it comes to our hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, and public lands heritage.
If you would like to attend, please sign up at this link. Free transportation to Helena will be provided from many locations around the state.
Whether you will be able to join us or not, please take a moment to sign this petition to keep public lands public!
Guest speakers include Gov. Steve Bullock, mountaineering legend Conrad Anker, fly fishing guide and TV host Hilary Hutcheson, and K.C. Walsh, CEO of Simms.
Public lands are under attack on the national level also. During the first session of Congress this month, our Congressman Ryan Zinke voted with the Republican majority to weaken the process for transferring public lands. Both Senator Tester (D) and Senator Daines (R) criticized his vote. The NFPA board sent a letter of disapproval to the Congressman for voting this way after declaring his support for public lands.. You can view the letter on the NFPA website. Please send your own letter to Congressman Zinke. If his appointment is approved, Ryan Zinke will be our next Secretary of Interior and he needs to hear from Montanans that we will not support any give-away of our public lands.
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.
Reminder: Attend the Public Land Rally in Helena this Monday, February 16, at High Noon!
Guest speakers: Governor Steve Bullock David Allen, President and CEO, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Mary Sexton, former Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Director Adrienne Marx, Montana Wilderness Association council member Randy Newberg, host of the popular cable television show “Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg.”
Can you make it? Will you make it?
If you live in the Flathead Valley there’s a van leaving Kalispell at 8:00am. Call 406-730-2006 for info. First come, first serve.
Why is this important: The Transfer of Public Lands is a hot button issue this legislative session. Powerful out of state interests are wooing our legislators to pursue a dangerous and economically disastrous path that would lead to excessive litigation and ultimately, if successful – less access and more taxes for Montanans. That’s why we’re heading to Helena to fight back and make sure that the Legislature understands loud and clear that our public lands are not a toy for politicians to play with.
There is a rally at noon on President’s Day, Monday, February 16, in Helena to protect access to public lands. The immediate trigger for this event is a movement within Montana to give up federal lands to state control. Such a move would mean a sharp increase in the state bureaucracy, a hefty bump in the tax burden and, more than likely, lead to much of the land being sold off to private interests to help finance the whole mess. Everyone from traditional hunting and fishing groups, to motorized recreation outfits to old-line enviros is pretty wound up about this.