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Letter to the editor: Keep wildlife and land in public hands

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Another champion of our public resources has passed away. John Borgen of Great Falls is gone after many years of helping to lead the fight in support of proper management of our public, land, water and wildlife. As a member of the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame and past president of the Public Land and Water Access Association, I worked with John B. and found we had a lot in common. There are more than a few signs that we are in for a fight to keep wildlife and land in public hands. I just attended a meeting of the PLWA and I must say I am encouraged by the attitude and energy of the people that now lead that organization. But they had better be ready for a fight. There are signs that Montana is on its way to becoming “Little Texas,” where the landowner owns the wildlife and charges the public to hunt.

You can take action by checking how your legislator voted on HB 637 (last session) and see if they voted for it. If they did, don’t vote for them. The bill had items that gave away our elk to outfitters and other handouts that had been defeated in earlier bills when there had been time for public input. This was a cheap shot and they all knew it. The other thing you can do is to vote for Gary Buchanan in the next election. Hand the game available to all the public. He agreed we should leave the public land accessible to all. He has agreed that he will do everything he can to keep public land and wildlife in public hands and available to the people without an extra price tag.

John Gibson

Billlings

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