Our federally managed public lands don't just belong to the public within the state they are located; our federally managed public lands belong to all of the U.S. public. As such, we, the public land owners, deserve the consistency, accountability and transparency provided through federal law to direct the stewards who manage on our behalf.
Our federally managed public lands don't entail the “land” only, but also incorporates our public access to them, as well as the fish, wildlife and other natural resources thereon. Man-made state and smaller governmental boundary lines do not properly fund or administer our public lands and natural resources, when accounting for the much needed whole landscape biotics and oversight, the bigger picture if you will. This bigger, interconnected perspective is not served by potential local, shortsighted agendas, but requires the broader federal oversight and foresight that will protect our natural resources for future generations.
In this first Senate debate between U.S. Sen. Jon Tester and candidate Matt Rosendale, our public lands were debated. Rosendale has long endorsed transferring federally managed public lands to the states, a position the majority of the U.S. and Montanans vehemently oppose.
During the debate, Rosendale stated, “There was a time when I thought they could be better managed by the state. I have since talked to people across the entire state and they have made it exceedingly clear they do not want those lands transferred and I not only understand that, I agree with that.”
In light of the very unpopular “transfer” position, the common fallback or Plan B position of the public lands transfer crowd is to at least transfer “management” of our public lands. Rosendale's website reflects his public lands revisionist position, stating, “I’ll fight to bring much needed reform for more state and local management.” Rosendale may not be aware, but we already have numerous examples of local input in the public process, for example, the Elkhorn Working Group and the Blackfoot Challenge.
Tester has long, consistently and congressionally defended our federally managed public lands.
Please join me, as a fellow public landowner, in defending the federal stewardship of our public lands and natural resources, by re-electing Jon Tester to the Senate.