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Smoke and mirrors

Smoke and mirrors

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HB 320: Prohibits sales of federal land transferred to Montana. Whew! What a relief until you realize that it’s nothing but a devious promise meant to lull us into complacency. Any future Legislature could easily nullify this bill. The fact land transfer is even being mentioned should send chills down our spines. There’s an end game afoot and it’s not about preserving our heritage. We should never allow that door to be opened. The continued open access to OUR public lands is what makes Montana “The Last Best Place”.

The cost of adding new employees, equipment, facilities and infrastructure alone will be enormous. Nor will those transferred lands produce enough long term revenue from natural resource development to offset the cost of maintaining them. Just one or two big multimillion dollar fire seasons alone and OUR ownership won’t be sustainable without astronomical increases to our taxes, recreational / land use fees and/or SELLING PRIME PIECES OF PUBLIC LANDS. The purchasers won't be us average Montanans. Locked gates, closed roads, fences, NO TRESPASSING signs and exclusive pay to clubs will begin to replace those public lands that make Montana such a great place to live.

William McChesney,

Stevensville

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