Hey Montana voters, here's another good reason to keep Senator John Walsh (D) in the U.S. Senate:
Here's what Walsh had to say on the Senate floor:Senator John Walsh today introduced legislation to impose new rules that would prevent Congress from attempting to sell off public lands.
Speaking from the Senate Floor, Walsh blasted an initiative passed by the House of Representatives that would sell or transfer public lands managed by the federal government, calling it “as radical as it is wrong.” In April, the House of Representatives passed the Ryan Budget which included the authority to sell off up to 21 million acres of public land in Montana.
“Selling off our kids’ and grandkids’ heritage is a terrible idea,” Walsh said. “I want my granddaughter to grow up in a Montana with the same easy access to the streams and forests that I enjoyed, whether she wants to hunt, hike, fish, or bike.”
Walsh criticized efforts to transfer federal lands, saying, “What this really means is handing over our most popular recreation areas to the highest out-of- state bidder, creating the next copper barons and trophy homes. This theory is as radical as it is wrong.”
In Montana, public lands drive the tourism economy that supports 64,000 jobs and annually generates $5.8 billion in revenue.
Walsh has focused on public lands protection to preserve both Montana’s outdoor heritage and the small businesses the outdoor economy supports. He sponsored the Rocky Mountain Front Protection Act, North Fork Protection Act, Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, and a bill to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. - Ammoland, 6/24/14
Walsh's opponent, Tea Party Rep. Steve Daines (R. MT), has helped block legislation to protect public lands in hopes of defeating Walsh this year:In Montana, tourism is critical to our economy. Outdoor recreation supports 64,000 jobs and generates $5.8 billion in revenue annually. Cutting off access or selling the land to out-of-state development is a direct threat to jobs in Montana.
Turning over land to the states is just one step away from privatizing it. And there is no question that private land is the misguided ultimate goal by many who don’t understand our outdoor heritage in the west.
In the year 2000, I led the response of the Montana National Guard to the wildfires that year that consumed over 1 million acres of Montana land that summer.
The Departments of Agriculture and Interior have spent about $1.8 billion annually to fight wildfires in the last five years. States simply cannot afford that price tag. One bad wildfire season could bankrupt a state.
I want to share a little more what is at stake here: Under the Ryan Budget in the House, with an auction of our public lands, Montana hunters could lose access to the elk wallows of the Pioneer Mountains.
You might hear elk bugling on Tenderfoot Creek in the Little Belts, but it could be on private land instead of land protected by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Montanans could be shut out of the Missouri River Breaks, locked out of putting a canoe in or hunting a mule deer or sheep.
We could lose the Rocky Mountain Front, facing padlocks and orange signs instead of open space and the chance for a bighorn sheep tag.
Under the House plan, anglers in Montana could lose the headwaters of Rock Creek or the Smith River and the chance to sink a perfect fly from a streamside the public owns.
Despite years of effort to secure access, we could be shut out of land around the Three Dollar Bridge south of Bozeman that helped kids like me, growing up, fish in our own blue-ribbon streams. The same thing could happen to the Centennials and Swan.
We could lose the best that Eastern Montana has to offer, from the monster bucks and turkeys on the Custer National Forest to the duck factory of the BLM’s prairie potholes.
Under the House plan, we could be facing closed roads, closed trails, and closed land in the Gallatin National Forest that thousands of Montanans worked together twenty years ago to keep open and keep public forever.
Montana is the Last Best Place because we can hunt, fish, hike and play on land that we all own. I will fight to keep that way. - Flathead News Group, 6/25/14
Daines has been voting to sell off public lands since early last year and Walsh has highlighted conservation and hunting groups anger with Daines. You click here to read more:U.S. Rep. Steve Daines recently told U.S. News that his strategy to win the Senate race this year is to pick off and neutralize constituents like advocates for the North Fork. His recent actions show why he can’t be trusted.
U.S. Sens. John Walsh and Jon Tester are pushing a bill, originally introduced in 2010, to withdraw the U.S. watershed from future development, following through on a deal between Montana and British Columbia to permanently protect the North Fork.
Montanans were hopeful when Daines introduced a companion bill last year marking the first time in 30 years that the whole delegation supported a public lands bill. Our hopes rose further when on March 4 the House of Representatives passed the bill.
Unfortunately, the North Fork has now run into the tea party gauntlet in the Senate. What is clear is that the game was rigged.
On April 3, three Republican senators from other states — Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Texas — blocked our senators’ attempt to pass this made-in-Montana bill in the Senate. The senator from Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, recently donated $10,000 to Daines’ campaign.
As Daines knows, the vote in the Senate (by “unanimous consent”) was the Senate’s equivalent of how the House passed the bill. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, “most noncontroversial measures are approved by ‘suspension of the rules’ in the House, and by unanimous consent in the Senate.”
In fact, all eight Senate public lands bills that have passed the chamber this Congress passed by unanimous consent. Those bills set aside 85,000 acres of new wilderness and 73 miles of wild and scenic river designation in eight states.
So why is the North Fork bill so different for Senate Republicans?
The answer reminds me of another Senate race 26 years ago when President Ronald Reagan pocket-vetoed the last Montana wilderness bill to pass Congress in order to jam then-Sen. John Melcher in his race against Conrad Burns.
For example, Sen. Coburn of Oklahoma is insisting on the opportunity to offer controversial amendments to the North Fork that would have brought down the entire proposal. This is a familiar ploy.
A similar Republican demand last fall (supported by Daines) caused the shutdown of the federal government for 16 days, costing Montana upwards of $45 million in lost business from Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks alone. - Great Falls Tribune, 6/20/14
This is a serious issue Montana voters need to seriously consider before going into the voting booth. Lately Daines has been attacking Walsh's military career which comes off as Swiftboating. It's the same type of shit Saxby Chambliss used against Max Cleland and George W. Bush against John Kerry. We can't allow this to happen to the only Iraq War Veteran serving in the U.S. Senate. So please do donate and get involved with Walsh's campaign:Walsh has joined sides with groups angry at Daines and hopefully they will come out and help get elected to a full term:
Montana Senator John Walsh joined some local anglers in breaking out the reels and rods to kick off the summer.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Ryan Budget last month - which included a provision to sell public lands across the country. But many Montanans say they don't want to see that happen.
Sen. Walsh spent Saturday with some fisherman who say they are worried about Montana's public access areas. The Democrat says he'll continue to fight for the right of free public access - including along the Clark Fork River.
"I don't think, you know, that we ever want to move to a point where you have to pay to fish, pay to hike or pay to use what is so special here in Montana," Sen. Walsh said. - KPAX, 6/22/14