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“Keep our public lands public” is a catchy phrase but it has nothing to do with reality. Instead, this phrase was carefully crafted by liberals to deceive and mislead the public in the debate over the bill sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Fielder that would allow Montanans to regain our land from the federal government. The phrase implies our state government might sell off some of our public land to private entities, even though the bill now expressly forbids such action.

The actual fight is between the far left who want to keep our public lands locked up, and those of us who think they should be managed correctly for the benefit of all Montanans, not just a few rich liberals. Secondarily, this is about which entity can manage our public lands the best, the federal government or the state of Montana.

Gov. Steve Bullock and his far-left cadre are supporting the feds, which is hard to believe since the feds have difficulty managing anything well. The ironic thing is the feds have locked up millions of acres of our public land from use or access by Montanans. The real message is, “public property, no trespassing allowed.” Our timber is dying, jobs have been destroyed and critical habitat for our wildlife is overgrown and ripe for a catastrophic fire. You call that management? I call it neglect.

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Contrary to Bullock’s mantra, Montanans can do a much better job managing our land than the feds. We can make certain we have access, support jobs, promote and maintain a healthy ecosystem, take care of our wildlife and hunting and create wealth for our schools, our communities and our citizens. But to do such we need elected officials who support Montana, not the federal government as Bullock has.

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Mark A. Agather,

Kalispell

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