If you value the public lands remaining public, consider the differences between the 2016 Montana Republican Platform and the 2016 Montana Democratic Platform.
If you vote for Republican candidates in Montana, here is what their party and Republican elected officials will stand for on the public lands issue in the upcoming legislative session in Helena:
On page 13 of the "2016 Montana Republican Party Platform, adopted June 25, 2016", it is written:
"Federally Managed Public Lands
The Montana Republican Party supports the U.S. Congress and U.S. President, other public officials and citizens of Montana and the United States to fully exert their efforts and powers to support returning federally managed public lands to the states in order to secure statehood equality and provide for better management of public lands."
Further down the same page in the 5th paragraph of the Natural Resources Section, it is written:
". . . We support the granting of federally managed public lands to the state, and development of a transition plan for the timely and orderly transfer."
On the other hand, Democrats oppose any net loss of publicly owned lands, including any proposal to sell off federal public lands or transfer authority of federal public lands to state governments.
Here are the policies Montana Democratic lawmakers will be pursuing in Helena, as explained in the the "2016 Platform of the Montana Democratic Party, adopted June 11, 2016."
On page 2, under the heading: Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoor Recreation it is written:
"We recognize that the opportunity for Montanans to enjoy our spectacular landscapes, clean waters, and abundant fish and wildlife is an integral part of our heritage, identity, and lifestyle. We believe in public ownership of the fish, wildlife, streams and rivers of our state and rely on our government to hold these resources in trust for the beneficial use of our citizens and future generations."
On page 8, the Democratic Platform also states:
-- The right to keep and bear arms as defined in both the Montana and the U.S. Constitutions.
-- Montanans' right to participate in fair chase hunting, fishing, trapping, and outdoor recreation on our public lands, consistent with private property rights.
-- Montana's Stream Access Law, including the public's right to access streams at public bridges.
-- Federal ownership and management of current federal public lands in Montana and agency budget levels sufficient to meet management challenges.
-- Appropriate incentives to compensate landowners for the impacts of hunting and fishing, as well as the maintenance of wildlife habitat on private land.
-- License fee levels adequate to fund the Montana Department of fish, Wildlife and Parks' proper management of the public's wildlife and fish and their habitat as public trust resources.
-- Diversity in the interests and perspectives of members of commissions and boards charged with influencing public policy on natural resources and outdoor recreation.
-- Efforts to reduce chronic wasting disease, whirling disease, and other wildlife afflictions, as well as noxious weeds and invasive aquatic species.
-- Public hunting as an appropriate tool for managing game populations.
-- Science-based decision-making for managing fish and wildlife.
-- Adequate funding for Montana State Parks to provide recreational opportunities and to preserve Montana's heritage within Montana State Parks.
-- Any net loss of publicly owned lands, including any proposal to sell off federal public lands or transfer authority of federal public lands to state governments.
-- The private sale of wildlife or any tags or permits intended to authorize the harvest of wildlife by any source other than the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
-- The increasing trend toward privatization and commercialization of public fish and wildlife resources in Montana. "