On a bitterly cold February morning, hundreds of Montanans (including two of our own, Amy and Peter) joined together on the Capitol steps for the Rally for Public Lands. Folks from all walks of life showed up to make one point clear – Protect our public lands! Speakers covered a broad spectrum of related topics, from indigenous perspectives to agriculture, environmental activism, conservation, and recreation. Hannah Muszkiewicz, a teacher and public land advocate, summed up the rally with her passionate speech: “I’m proud to be a Montanan, and that pride stems in large part from the existence of our public lands. If you share that pride, let it be shown in the way you vote, the way you act, in the way you treat the land around you. If you have stories like mine, do the work each day so that similar stories continue to be told for generations to come.”
Though the rally was in the works before session priorities were identified, it couldn’t have been better timed. That same day, Montana Audubon and other conservation groups testified before House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks in opposition to a slew of bills that would open hunting and trapping in Grizzly Bear habitat. In the past week alone, we’ve seen this energy translate to the defeat of some major bills, including those that would weaken conservation easements, stream access rights, recreation, and two of the wildlife bills heard that day.
Thank you for making your voices heard this legislative session! Your support is invaluable, and we look forward to your involvement after the transmittal break. If you weren’t able to attend the Rally for Public Lands, check out the recording from Wild Montana.