Sen. Steve Daines has shown his true colors, and I’m sick and tired of his acting on behalf of special interests like those on the east side of the Crazies. Daines has finally shown that he's totally against Montana hunters. His record since he's been in Congress has consistently been awful for conservation — defunding land and water funds, voting against clean water and pushing for massive logging over everything else on public lands.

But now he's taken it a step further. Recently, Daines wrote to the secretary of agriculture, joining several landowner and ag groups' crusade against a forest ranger who was working to maintain a public easement into the Crazy Mountains. Some of those same landowners are also outfitters who charge big bucks to hunt trophy bulls, then gripe because they claim there are too many elk. All the makings of a self-induced problem.

Daines defends people who vandalize public property by ripping down trail signs, then vilifies a ranger. And he did it after also getting pressure from the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, who want to privatize all of our wildlife.

Next time Daines gives some talk about being pro-sportsmen, take him to task. I plan to. And remember that the next time he runs some phony ad, wearing blaze orange. I’ve been a Republican all of my life, and I’m very tired of my party going against me — what gives here? Out of necessity, I’m becoming a 100 percent independent voter because my Republican party keeps trampling my family’s outdoor heritage.

Tim Vicars

Billings

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