Three Things Montanans Should Know about Greg Gianforte, Rick Perry & Public Lands

Out-of-state millionaire and public lands opponent Rick Perry campaigns with Gianforte in Montana 

New Jersey multimillionaire Greg Gianforte today is hitting the campaign trail with out-of-state millionaire and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and you can bet neither of them want to talk about their weak records on public lands.

Here are three things that Montanans need to know about Greg Gianforte, Rick Perry and public lands in Montana: 

  1. Gov. Perry supports transferring public land management to individual states, which is the first step toward selling them off to the highest bidder, saying the federal government should "divest itself" from lands like national forests and national parks.
  2. Greg Gianforte has funded groups that are working to transfer federal lands to the state and sell off our public lands to the highest bidder. 
  3. "And what's the third one, there? And, uh, the uh...."

"New Jersey millionaire Greg Gianforte sued Montanans to block access to the East Gallatin River and he funds groups that want to sell off our public lands," 
said Jason Pitt, a spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party. "Mr. Gianforte bringing in another out-of-state millionaire who opposes public lands only raises more questions about his out-of-touch agenda if he's elected governor."

Gianforte has a long history of siding with anti-public land politicians like Rick Perry:

  • Gianforte sued Montanans to block stream access near his property. 
  • Before Gianforte filed the lawsuit to eliminate the public access easement, Fish, Wildlife and Parks wrote that Gianforte “fenced the easement and actively excluded the public from accessing this property,” which Montanans used to fish the East Gallatin River for years.  
  • Gianforte donated thousands of dollars to Foundation for Research on the Economy and the Environment (FREE), Americans for Prosperity and the Heritage Foundation that have fought to privatize national forests and sell off our public lands to the highest bidder. 
  • Gianforte gave money to the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), as recently as 2014 and touts the organization on his foundation's website. PERC works to undo Montana's Stream Access laws: 
    • In 2012, PERC filed an amicus brief against a sportsmen group and Madison County over access to Ruby River, near Sheridan, from a bridge on the property of billionaire James Cox Kennedy. 
    • In 2014, PERC attacked Montana's Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionally protected right of public access to waterways. 

Bullock today earned the endorsement of the Montana Sportsmen Alliance for his work in protecting public access to public lands.  He previously earned the endorsement of the Outdoor Industry Association, in what was the organization's first-ever endorsement in a non-federal race.

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