During last year’s legislative session, state Rep. Kerry White’s non-binding resolution to slash protections on Montana’s wilderness study areas met with overwhelming opposition in the only public hearing held on that issue.
Now U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte have introduced legislation in Congress that would abolish WSA protections, apparently without holding a single scheduled public hearing in Montana to actually listen to Montanans. That is not what we should expect from our congressional delegation.
Maybe a few of the WSAs don’t deserve big-W wilderness status, but many of them do qualify as wilderness, and most of them at least deserve strong consideration for some kind of special designation.
Before Senator Daines and Congressman Gianforte push to scrap protections on these special national public lands, they should schedule numerous face-to-face public hearings around Montana, and come home and really listen to what Montanans have to say about the wilderness study areas.