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Guest column: Republican legislators protected, enhanced Montana's outdoor heritage
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Guest column

Guest column: Republican legislators protected, enhanced Montana's outdoor heritage

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The rights to hunt, fish and access our public lands are ingrained in Montana’s Constitution, our state’s heritage and in the hearts and minds of the people you elect to represent you in Helena.

Republican legislators include landowners, avid hunters, fishermen and -women, competitive shooters, hikers, ATV riders, boaters, skiers and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. Montana’s outdoor heritage is our way of life and policies that impact the outdoor experience are near and dear to our hearts. Montana would not be Montana without the ability to live, work and play outside.

Republicans in the Legislature worked this session to better manage wildlife and predator populations, reduce extreme environmental efforts to shut off access to public lands, and reform our state’s outdoor management agencies.

We have seen growing pressure in recent years among our game animal populations, public and private lands, recreation, and predators such as wolves and grizzlies.

The Legislature passed several bills to better manage wolf and grizzly populations, reduce elk overpopulation on private lands with expanded hunting opportunities, add more members to the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, reduce frivolous lawsuits, and increase public access to the outdoors through infrastructure and conservation projects. The Legislature funded millions in Flathead Lake recreation access, shooting ranges, fish cleaning stations, habitat improvements, fishing access sites and maintenance projects to keep public access hubs clean, functional and enjoyable.

Despite the false claims by some environmental groups, Montana’s outdoor heritage is poised to grow stronger than ever as a result of proactive legislation passed this year by Republicans who live and breathe the outdoor lifestyle.

As we head into summer, your citizen lawmakers will be out there on the trail, at the lake, in the woods and on the river alongside you enjoying and appreciating everything that makes Montana the last best place.

Rep. Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, is the speaker of the Montana House of Representatives. Rep. Casey Knudsen, R-Malta, is the speaker pro tempore. Rep. Sue Vinton, R-Lockwood, is the majority leader.

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