Montana has a long, successful history of thoughtful political and conservation leaders who have been a force against interests that would destroy our outdoor heritage. Steve Bullock has bravely defended access to public lands and waters and Pam Bucy defended our stream access law in front of the Montana Legislature as well as promoting large blocks of great fish and wildlife habitat open to all. Montana sportsmen have appreciated Kim Gillan’s demonstrated hard work in defending our Montana outdoor heritage. Sen. Jon Tester’s recent Sportsmen Act of 2012 will be the first piece of Legislation taken up by the U.S. Senate when it convenes in November.
Our unique outdoor traditions are an expression of who we are as Montanans. Our ability to hunt, fish, camp and enjoy the outdoors are fundamental values for citizens. Conservation of our basic outdoor resources is essential to our state’s economic health as it is to providing the setting to raise Montana families. Access to our public land, water and wildlife is the foundation to a huge part of our Montana economy adding dollars to main street businesses.
Our treasured outdoor heritage faces a difficult future. Monied interests are buying vast areas of Montana. The public is being denied access to thousands of acres of public land through illegal road closures. The wildlife, which is owned by the people of Montana, is often concentrated behind private fences secured for the few who have the wealth to buy these estates. Our wonderful fishing rivers and streams are under constant assault by special interests wishing to keep us out and use our streams for their own use and profit. A Montanan can look at the legislation pushed forward in our own Legislature; undo our stream access law, pushing roads into important habitat areas and undoing our public land and wildlife conservation systems.
There are core and guiding principles to safeguard this Montana outdoor trust:
• Preserve Second Amendment rights.
• Preserve and enhance access to public lands and waters.
• Manage public owned land, water and wildlife with focus on long term public good, not private profit.
• Sustain and enrich outdoor values.
• Develop natural resources with thoughtful stewardship.
• Manage the public’s wildlife using the non-market, science based principles of the North American Model of Wildlife Management.
• Protect public wildlands with significant wildlife habitat and opportunities for quiet outdoor recreation.
Bullock, Bucy, Gillan and Tester have consistently shown respect for these principles. They protect the backs of Montana hunters and anglers both in Washington and Helena. Elections make a difference. If you are an outdoors person whether Democrat, Independent or Republican you had better pay attention to this election and remember we are Montana hunters and anglers, not outside radicals.