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Newspapers and TV report various people endorsing certain Republicans for governor. If you value Montana's fish and wildlife as a public resource, you had better think carefully before you jump on that bandwagon. Remember the veto firewall Gov. Schweitzer set up against the onslaught of anti-sportsmen legislation in the last Montana Legislature?

Look at the Legislative Score Card. Only one Democrat voted to gut the Stream Access Law (HB309). It passed the House with 99 percent Republican support.

And who voted to add 2,000 more nonresident deer and elk combinations licenses (SB400)? The Republicans, of course. Other bad bills, such as gutting the Habitat Montana Program, had the same Republican support. With a sympatric governor, imagine what would happen. By the way, check out the campaign manager for the leading Republican candidate. Chuck Denowh was policy director for the United Property Owners last session. The last Republican governor's Fish and Game Commission looked a lot like the executive committee of the Montana Stockgrowers.

Sportsmen passed Initiative 161 to get rid of a special treatment for commercial interests in public wildlife management. Bur the profiteers will try again. They will ignore the North American Model of Wildlife Management and the Public Trust for the sake of profit.

I have been involved in this issue for over 40 years. My advice: if you value your heritage to hunt or fish or gain access public land and water for any reason, you had better elect Democrats, especially for governor.

John Gibson

Billings

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