Bullock: Gianforte a threat to Montana's public lands

Bullock blasts New Jersey millionaire for anti-access lawsuit, funding of anti-public lands groups

Dozens of Montana sportsmen and women today joined Steve Bullock to protect access to Montana's public lands and to highlight new Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte's record of suing to block Montanans' access to public lands.
Bullock, flanked by hunters and anglers on the eve of Montana's general deer and elk Season, also highlighted Gianforte's history of funding controversial organizations that support transferring management of public lands to individual states.

"Montanans can’t afford a governor who doesn’t understand that our access to these lands is part of our Montana values, part of who we are as Montanans, and part of our economy," Bullock said.

Bullock also drew attention to the endorsement of Gianforte by Jennifer Fielder, the new CEO of the controversial American Lands Council, which advocates for the transfer of public lands.

"We all know that’s the very first step towards selling these lands off to whomever offers the most," Bullock said, adding, "you don’t have to be a millionaire to spend a day alone with a fly rod on the river, or floating with your buddies down the Smith, or skiing with your kids at Discovery."

Bullock also detailed Gianforte's lawsuit against Montanans to eliminate a public access easement on the East Gallatin River near his home in Bozeman.

"During our last debate, Mr. Gianforte denied the lawsuit – again." Bullock said.  "So I read it to him on live TV. He can have his own opinions, but he can’t change the facts."

Bullock also noted that Gianforte has given nearly $28,000 to the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE), which advocates for the privatization of public lands.  Gianforte gave $8,000 to the Heritage Foundation, which advocates for the selling of public lands across the West, and he has give thousands to Americans for Prosperity and the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), neither of which are "friendly to public lands or access to them."

"I promise you – as I have promised before – our public lands will never be transferred out of public hands. Not on my watch,Bullock added.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle lauded Bullock as "a stalwart advocate for public lands" in its recent endorsement. 

Bullock also earned the endorsement of the Outdoor Industry Association.  It's the nonpartisan organization's first time endorsing a statewide candidate.

The Outdoor Industry Association says Montana's outdoor recreation economy is responsible for more than 64,000 direct jobs in Montana, and generates nearly $6 billion in economic activity every year.

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