On the heels of a large rally at the Montana State Capitol, Yahoo News is reporting that a federal bill introduced in the United States House was withdrawn in part because of pushback from Montanans on any efforts to sell off public lands in Montana and across the country.

Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Jon Tester both spoke at the rally to a crowd of over 1,000 Montana sportsmen and women, conservationists, and outdoor recreation and tourism business owners.

“This ain’t about politics,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “Public lands are our heritage. They are our economy. They’re our quality of life. Montanans came from all corners of the state to send a strong message to Washington D.C. that our public lands belong to every Montanan and every American, and not the highest bidder.”

“The folks who try to transfer our public lands were once again overruled by those of us who hunt, fish, and float,” said Senator Jon Tester. “Outdoorsmen and women across the west spoke up and got Rep. Chaffetz to withdraw his very misguided bill. This is what happens when we all band together and make our voices heard. We won’t stop until every member of Congress commits to keeping our public lands in public hands.”

Montana’s outdoor recreation economy support 64,000 Montana jobs and nearly $6 billion in economic activity. Governor Bullock earlier this week highlighted a poll that confirmed overwhelming support of public lands in Mountain West states. You can view the full public lands study on the Colorado College website here.

Become a Sustaining Member

Your support helps us knock more doors, answer more calls, change more minds to build a stronger community for Yellowstone County and Montana.

Activist sign with butterfly reads “change begins here” held by a gloved hand in a peaceful protest