Grass Roots Testimonials
We would love to have your support in defending Montana's proud tradition of leading the nation in protecting the public trust for all citizens.
Grass Roots Testimonials
of the Montana Public Trust Coalition
Any organization designation included on this page was provided by the individual and is for identification purposes only. The inclusion of an organization's name is not intended to represent any commitment on the part of the organization itself as that may violate an organizations 501(c)3 status as noted on the organizational page.
Updated 11.10.22 at 9:36 AM MST
I am a lifelong, 72 year old, hunter, angler, pulbic land user, Navy veteran, and conservationist. I also support traditional farming and ranching and sustainable forest management. I am also keenly interested in the history, culture and traditions of Old Montana and want to see them preserved.
The natural prosperity of our great State must be forever conserved for the welfare and enjoyment of the many, not debased by the opportunism of the few.
I moved to MT 4 years for the opportunity to recreate more on public lands. It brings me great pleasure to harvest all my meat for a year from public lands. Wild game in my opinion is the healthiest option for red meat we have. While trying to procure my own meat I get to enjoy nature and I’m healthier for the effort it takes. I strongly support public lands and wildlife managers to manage wildlife to the best of their ability.
As a fly fishing enthusiast and native Montanan I oppose the sale of public land to wealthy land barons who fence off their property to keep out Montanans of average means. Additionally, wealthy trophy hunters who say “you can keep your guns” are deceiving local hunters by partnering up with their wealthy pals to make Montana simply a playground for their out-of-state buddies.
Wake up Montana, our land is being bought and sold by “the King” and he could care less about your hunting and fishing privileges.
“I am in love with Montana, for other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection but with MONTANA it is love, and it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it…” John Steinbeck
We stand on the shoulders of giants who gifted us our conservation legacy that is the envy of our great nation. We are called to defend Montana against all those who would defile her, and embrace all those who would improve upon what we know today. Cheers to doing just that!
Montanans have put in a lot of blood sweat and tears to have the public lands, waters and wildlife we enjoy today. The work is not done, and the public trust is that corner stone.
Thank you for keeping Montana’s sportsman and conservationists at the front while considering laws that degrade our privileges to hunt and fish the resources of Montana.
Passionate About preserving our public resources!
As a native Montanan and a former fisheries technician I see the current administration undermining generations of passion, science and culture. Once seen as the model of management and access, my beloved Montana is being changed to a place where only privilege and money can offer you access to resources that truly belong to all people. It must be stopped.
I was married on September 2022 I. Livingston. We had about 50 guests from the Southeast, most of which were unfamiliar with the opportunities Montana provides so I took a number of them fishing, Hiking, etc... Their reactions were legitimately inspiring. Montana is the last best place for a number of reasons but at the core of most of these is the ability for ANYBODY to access would class opportunity without very much effort. My 8 year old nephew caught a toad cutty on the Yellowstone within 5 minutes of starting fishing and he spent the rest of the trip begging me to take him fishing and whenever we had a few free hours we were able to. I looked at him during my wedding ceremony (which was on the banks of the Yellowstone) and he was staring at the river with a smile on his face. That is what we have to protect or someone will kill it
Since I've moved to Montana which was in 2005 I've watched Public Access to not only public land but also public Waters erode in a way that Rivals global warming and climate change. If we're not careful we're going to end up like feudal England or Italy is today where you got to pay to do anything. Our public lands are our greatest gift not only to ourselves but generations to come.
Whatever hunting becomes, if the average working Montanan can't participate, or is left to play a different game with the scraps, we will have destroyed something virtuous.
Keeping or enhancing our public lands is very important to me. Access and hunting opportunities should be available to all residents as far as possible. We have a very special place which it is important to preserve for the future. Decisions should be made with keeping the majority views and expectations in mind. Special interests often do not align with the majority of resident outdoorsmen's interests.
My number one concern as a Montana voter is keeping our public lands and wildlife healthy and accessible. The last legislation session was deeply concerning to me as it seemed our representatives forgot about these core ideas that make Montana so special. I appreciate what the Montana Public Trust Coalition is doing to try to turn the tide back in the favor of everyday Montanans. I will be utilizing their pledge count when deciding my vote this fall and subsequent falls moving forward.
As a candidate for Montana's Senate District 30, I am totally in support of the Montana Public Trust Coalition, and take this pledge to protect public ownership of wildlife, public access to public lands, scientific wildlife management, and the Montana Public Trust Coalition. I will work hard to protect and defend Montana’s Constitution, particularly our right to hunt and fish, and of course our right to a clean and healthful environment. We live in a special place that everyone can enjoy, let's keep it that way.
Jamie Isaly -
Candidate Montana Senate District 30
Our public lands are the legacy of conservative, Republican President Teddy Roosevelt. They are a part of what makes America great. We must defend these lands from privatization at any cost.
I feel like after hear the pod cast with randy newberg I need to get my voice out with the hunting as I’ve been hunting here for a while and feel like our rights are getting taken away and I want to support this and keep our lands to people that live here and work here
Montana is the best state in the country for the public land hunter and fisherman. Let’s keep it that way.
Beginning to hunt as an adult was what first opened my eyes to conservation and public lands. It has been astonishing to see the assault on public access by people who claim to represent Montana values. Maintaining wildlife in the public trust and using science to manage wildlife are the most important campaign issues to me.
To live in Montana is to enjoy its natural amenities. That right, protected by the laws of our state, should not be diminished in any way.
I am a native Montanan, born and raised in Butte, MT. I have enjoyed hunting and fishing in Montana for nearly all of my 66 years, along with my two older brothers for nearly all of their 70 and 71 years, respectively. Our father, also a native Montanan and avid sportsman for nearly all of his 92 years, taught us the value of not only ethical hunting and fishing practices, but the importance of respecting and honoring private land and the people who owned the land, and the public land and water that we all get to enjoy. I had always felt that we were safe from those opportunities being taken away. Until recently. It saddens me that the idea of being "privileged" (aka, wealthy) could mean controlling the land, water, and wildlife that was once abundantly available for all, and allowing high quality outdoor sporting opportunities only for others who are of same socioeconomic class. The rest of us get to fight over the spoils. The now-powerful lobby for large, wealthy landowners and outfitters who benefit from their connection to those landowners has, a much-too-sympathetic ear in our current state government, skewing the way that hunting licenses are distributed and the way big game management is conducted. Wealthy land owners, many who are not native Montanans, make up a large percentage of our state political representatives, including the current governor. My recent elk hunting experiences bear this out, with far too much of my time being spent on trying to figure out when and how public game herds will escape to their private, locked, lands, while under increased pubic hunting pressure. Wouldn't it be better if we could focus on our fair chase tactics in land unaffected by adjacent forbidden land? I support this effort to defend Montana's protection of public trust for us all.
History does indeed repeat itself. We now bear witness to Montana again becoming the playground of the nation's wealthy elite. Yet, history also has shown us time and time again that the democracy of hunting and fishing is a formidable force best not to be underestimated. It's time for us to rise again to stand up for what belongs to us all!
There are currently many threats to our public lands. I do not trust our elected officials (with the exception of John Tester) to represent my point of view. Public lands AND waters belong to the people. I am grateful for my fellow Montanans who are standing up to protect our rights.
As sportsman and women. We must stand together. To protect our great state of Montana. Being from Anaconda and seeing the environmental damage greed played in this area. All Montanans must never let our state become like Texas were you can only hunt if you have enough money to pay a wealthy landowner. God bless our public lands and our great state.
I am 100% behind Montanans Public Trust/ Our wild animals and Wild Natural Landscape, our clean air & water deserve our utmost protections for now and "seven generations". We need to shout out to the rich1% Montana is NOT for sale!
Harvesting deer and elk on public lands has been some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences I have ever had. I know for certain there are thousands of other hunters who feel the same. I encourage all policy makers to consider the long-term benefits of keeping wild game in the public trust and expanding acquisitions of public land for habitat and the enjoyment of all Americans and our future generations.
Protecting Montana's public lands and proud tradition is so very important. I am honored to add my name to these efforts.
Montana has most always stood out as a leaser in progressive fish and wildlife management policies; that edge is slipping away from us. As expected from the character of and expertise of the Montana hunter, angler, and general conservationist this edge will not disappear without huge opposition. Behind it all stands Montana's Constitution, Common Law, The Public Trust Doctrine, and the North American Model. In recent years, many candidates have given mouth service to hunting and angling yet fell to voting in favor of the low-hanging fruit of commercialization of our public domain. It's time for our electors to "walk the walk" instead of simply "talking the talk" and hold them to it. It is incumbent upon us to hold them accountable and remove those from office that would work against our interests.
Montana is a place that has pioneered the coexistence of man and nature. Further, our constitution pioneered conversation use by various parties. Hunters conserve through sport, non-profits conserve through labor, and the average citizen conserves through enjoyment. Equal access to hunting and other conservation activities must remain and a Montanan's right to a clean and healthful environment should be cherished. Any legislation or policy that seeks to remove this right or divide the interested parties is ridiculous and spits in the face of the Montana I grew up in.
Our Montana Constitution clearly guarantees environmental rights, including the right to a clean and healthful environment. This right was recently upheld by the Supreme Court in Park County Environmental Council and Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. MDEQ and Lucky Minerals Inc. I support our Constitution, and I have a personal commitment to improve the quality of life and the equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations.
Yes, I support Public Lands for the Public! All Montanan’s enjoy our outdoor life style. It’s not for sale to the rich & maybe they think “famous”.
I have lived and loved Montana for over 60 years. Among the things I very most cherish about our state is the access to public lands that we *all* have, and the right we have to a clean and healthful environment. I am greatly saddened by the efforts of the wealthy and the right leaning to both outright privatize our public lands, and to remove our access to public lands if they can somehow claim we are trespassing to get there. This is not Montana, and the people who seek to do these terrible things are not Montanans but instead interlopers seeking to destroy our public lands heritage. All people running for public office in Montana should go on record with their pledge to protect Montana's public lands access and traditions. Those who do not make that pledge should be singled out and roundly defeated at the ballot box because they clearly are not working for the Montana people.
I am a lifelong, 71 year old, hunter, angler, conservationist and Navy Veteran. I am very concerned that the opportinities that I enjoyed because of the public trust protections of fish, wildlife and public land access may not be there for my sons and grandkids because of the attempts of some to privatize our public trust resources. As a generation that benefitted so much from the actions of our parents and grandparents to protect these opportunities, we cannot stand by and let the privileged few take them away now.
A great deal of my life has been devoted to this cause. I will continue to uphold the values of the MPTC.
The same concerns for big game apply also to game birds and their habitat.
Public lands are one of the things that makes America great. Public lands are the legacy of Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. But the current Republican power structure in Montana can't be trusted to protect this legacy. We need to be vigilant.
Every Montanan should support the goals of this Coalition and tell their legislative candidates that we expect them to protect the public trust as described in the Montana Constitution.
The Montana I first knew -- and loved -- is based on the public trust, not only for wildlife and wild lands but also the public trust to its people. That trust means respect for people's personal privacy and right to make his/her own decisions about their person and their health care decisions. A Montanan's right to a "clean and healthful environment" means that I can expect the state to do all it can in its power to hold corporations to a high standard as they operate -- and extract the riches -- in our state.
I am current president of Bear Creek Council, based in Gardiner, Montana. We have battled many bad wildlife and access bills for years. We are basically aligned with the mission of this coalition. I am going to check our exact status first, but BCC may be able to join the coalition. My thanks to the organizers for making this critical effort.
Realizing Montana as the world's 'Last Best Place' is more than a booster slogan and it rests on our shoulders to protect it. Our public lands, our wildlife and our outdoor way of life are not for sale. Our children trust us to protect this place for the next generation by upholding Montana's constitution for a forever wild Montana and I'm here for the fight.
Montanan by birth, over 50 years living in Montana. I fish and my husband hunted. I want to protect our public lands for all of us. It is scary to me that so much can be taken away from us in one legislative year! Time for us true Montanans to stand up and say NO! My state lives within me- my grandparents homesteaded up on the hi-line and I was born with love for my land and state. I am not letting our state land go without a fight.
As a Montanan and as board chair for Montana Conservation Voters I have watched with anger while current officials abandon their trustee duties for our wildlife and other public resources. They are hell bent on privatizing and monetizing these animals and have turned their backs on Montanan hunters and anglers. Just as bad, they now are coming after the protections and rights protected by our state’s constitution. It’s damned poor policy and worse representation; if you’re not a major donor, you don’t count. MCV and I have joined this coalition to ensure this stops. Please join us!
I live in Montana to hunt,fish and enjoy this beautiful State!!! I feel that all Sportsmen need a louder voice at the ballot box.
I value fish and wildlife in their native and natural places, and plenty of it. I value public access and public lands, and plenty of both. I value The Public Trust and The North American Model of Wildlife Conservative. I value ethical, fair-chase hunting, fishing and trapping and the ability to fill my freezer with wild-gotten meat. I value transparent, fair and public processes of government. I value integrity, humility, and earnestness as fundamental qualities of our leaders. I value the Montana that has all of this.
We need to work together!
I believe one of the greatest treasures of this state is it's public land and water resources.
Money to hire an Outfitter should not be a requirement to enjoy America’s fish and wildlife resources.
William Arthur Feldner
I support the Conservation and Use of Montana's and the Nation's wildlife.
I have hunted on both private and public land. I am a strong advocate for maintaining & increasing the public land ownership/stewardship whenever possible. This often means purchasing land that was once "given" to various entities--(Primarily through land grants). I support the "regaining" of these land grants in whatever way is most expeditious. This includes many of the abandoned rail lines throughout Montana. I also strongly support the efforts to provide public access/conservation easements as much as possible.
Please stop the welfare for outfitters in Montana. It is absolutely sickening that the average citizen is losing opportunities to these people.
"Many of us who live in Montana do so only because of the fish and game and because of the environment they occupy. For many living in Montana means the sacrifice of many career and personal choices. Thus, when one tampers with the fish and wildlife, one tampers with the very foundation of existence for many Montanans."
This is a quote by John Flynn from the Landowner/Sportsmen conference in 1986. And I find it to still ring true today.
Firm believer in all you stand for. Trying to figure out how to spread the word and advocate for the cause. 👊
Recently retired from both Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and more recently, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Very much support your work on these issues. Thank you.
DIY public land hunter and advocate
Martin F Petritz
I am a fourth generation Montanan. My grandfather and father worked the Anaconda smelter. Both were outdoorsman who installed in me a love for our fish, wildlife and public lands. I remember when the Anaconda air reeked of sulphur and had a metallic taste and when Silver Bow Creek was among the most plated streams in the country. Determined to help restore and conserve our aquatic resources, I earned BS and MS degrees in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University. As a student I learned about the North American model of wildlife management and Montana’s stream access law. As a former employee of retired FWP fisheries biologist Dick Vincent I learned first hand about the history of Montana’s famed wild trout management policy which was driven by data instead of politics and public sentiment at the time. Through Science based management Montana FWP emerged as a national leader in fish and wildlife management. These hard-won policies and science based decision making embody an ethos of what it means to be a Montanan and have shaped my own identity and ethic as a fisheries biologist. It is demoralizing to see that these principles and policies that have made Montana a world leader in fish and wildlife conservation are coming under attack by those interests seeking the privatization of our fish and wildlife. I fully support and appreciate the Montana Public Trust Coalition’s efforts to prevent the Texification of our fish and wildlife resources. I believe educating the public and our representatives on the North American model and its success as well as our other policies for successfully managing fish and wildlife in the public trust are essential in protecting our conservation heritage from those seeking private gain. The pledge is a great step in the right direction. Thank you for your efforts in defending our Montana heritage and fish and wildlife resources against those seeking to exploit them. You have my full support.
As a non-hunter I still feel the extreme need to uphold the Public Trust, we owe it not to ourselves but to those still to come.
I listened to your discussion on Randy Newberg's recent podcast. I'm absolutely with you. I recently contacted all 26 Montana legislators and candidates representing Gallatin County (I live in Belgrade) asking for support of the concept of corner crossing. Only 1/3 have responded so far; all but 1 are supportive.
Do not let Montana be sold to the out of state billionaires.
Hopefully the last legislative session showed that Montana hunters, anglers, and nonconsumptive outdoor users need to unite to protect what is ours.
Well funded out of state interests won’t stop until we have to pay their lodge for access to a creek or their outfitter to hunt an elk.
As a 48 year resident of Montana I treasure our public lands and our opportunities to hunt, fish, hike, camp, etc. As an outdoorsman, Montana has it all and I feel is the leading State in the Union for these opportunities. As a father, grandfather, and great grandfather, I feel that we must protect and maintain the public trust for our future generations.
I second the declaration on the homepage
As the Representative and candidate in House District 60, I am happy to join the Montana Public Trust Coalition and to take this pledge to protect our public treasures.
The right thing for our children and grandchildren.
Special interests and profit have infiltrated our conscientious, science based approach to managing Montana's vast wildlife resources. Starting with FWP's reorganization and its harmful changes to elk management which ultimately benefit commercial interests, to taking PUBLIC interest and input out of managing our PUBLIC lands. The Gianforte administration has waved a broad wand and is systematically dismantling our successful North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, erasing YEARS of dedicated, proven resource recovery. Enough!
I support the MT constitutional provision for public lands, public access and public ownership of wildlife and designated lands. Accordingly, legislators, judges and executives have a sworn duty to abide by our constitution in that respect. Management of wildlife and public lands must be an open and fair process with favor toward none and equality for all. Hunting, fishing and recreation for all Montanans in the constitutionally mandated clean and healthful environment is foundational to our great state.
I am a fourth generation Montana rancher, and I have been disappointed and highly concerned about the strong tendency in our current legislature to limit private property rights when they are tied to conservation.
Many Montana politicians who claim to support both private property rights and public access have done their best to dismantle the Habitat Montana easement program which benefits landowners, the public and the public’s wildlife.
Those opposed to conservation easements will argue that perpetuity is too long to tie up land. So my question is when have you ever seen a housing subdivision revert back to rangeland? Is that not also a perpetual decision? I believe a landowner should have the right to do either one, but too many of our politicians think they have the right to stymie conservation and public access gained voluntarily on private land. Property that continues to stay in the tax base and continues to remain in agriculture.
I appreciate the opportunity to learn which politicians truly support our rights as Montanans and which ones think we have somehow given them the right to do what THEY want rather than what WE want.
The future is at stake. Will my children have the magical opportunity to fairly pursue big game in public woods, fields, along streams and atop mountains? Or will we let outsider politicians driven by greed and the almighty dollar destroy these opportunities?
It ain't broke. Don't "fix" it. jab
Equality is the touchstone of our democracy. Equal access for all to public lands affords opportunity to prove our merit without favoritism. This principal is one I hope all can agree is fundamental to our nature.
Let us return to civility and respect. We have been able to hold our heads high in Montana in the past because we spoke WITH not at each other.
For the past thirty-three year I've had the most incredible opportunities to fish and hunt and roam Montana and its bountiful public and private lands. For the past almost twenty years, I've been joined by my son and daughter- Montana, and the public trust in all its facets that we honor here, has made them the hunters, citizens and outdoors people they are today, and we are a stronger family for it, and we live in a community that is stronger for it. It is my responsibility, having been given so much- not any of it here by accident, all of it the result of the hard work, intelligence, engagement and sacrifice of remarkable men and women who came before us- to do my part in making sure this can go on, that this extraordinary experiment and faith in the public trust can be handed down to the generations coming up now, and to those yet unborn. I wish that we were not living in a time when so many of these integral values were under assault- for a long time, it seemed as if we all agreed that the public trust, and the hunting and fishing that it creates and sustains, belonged to all of us, and Montana politics reflected that agreement. But the times have changed. The assault is here, and it is real, and it must be opposed, just as our forefathers and mothers opposed it in their time, from the very inception of the USA. We will not be found wanting.
Our Montana Constitution must not be changed in any way.
Thanks for setting this up
Hunting is a way of life for Montanans, it should never be sold to out of state millionaire.
A clean and healthful environment is vital to our personal and collective health, vote in favor of keeping that clause and do not overturn it by an means.
Montana's fish and wildlife are not market commodities; they are held in public trust and must remain so. Our right to a clean and healthful environment is protected by our excellent State Constitution. The candidates who sign onto this pledge deserve our support and our VOTE.
The next legislative session is a make or break situation on many conservation, fish and wildlife and public trust issues. If the Legislature is successful in privatizing public resources you will never get a chance to reverse their actions . Too many legislators are not working on your behalf and have been captured by special interests. Privatization of both elk and stream access are future targets by some. Ask your legislators and legislative candidates if they have signed this pledge. Register to vote. Vote! Personally I am standing up for the public trust and voting so my kids and grandkids can have experiences like I have had.
As a private landowner and outdoor sportsman I’m appalled at the efforts by the legislature to dismantle decades of conservation gains to benefit a wealthy few. These people are not Montanans!
I support the concept of the ethical conservation of the public trust that is wildlife and public lands.
I have worked as a professional biologist for 45 years. I conducted extensive research across Montana. I have hunted for more than 50 years both with bow and rifle. Took all 4 of my kids hunting and fishing. Now working on teaching my 12 Grandkids. Public trust is the central principle of the North American Model and I support efforts to protect that trust.
It's becoming more and more apparent that our public lands are under attack from the state leaders that we have elected. Now is the time to push back and make our will known. I ask that Montanans take a deep look into how our own Governor takes actions against our best interests. For me, this is not a partisan issue. It's an 'us vs them' issue. Them being those who wish to profit from the power they hold in our state. Thank you.
I believe in protecting Montana's constitution and all the animals that live in this state. The new human on the planet sees equal rights for animals, plants and trees, and Nature. We need to live in cooperation with Nature, not against it. We will not survive unless we live in community with this beautiful Planet
I believe that we as Montanan's have a responsibility to ensure that our Public Trust resources are protected for us as well as future generations. Politicians play a crucial role in insure those protections. If a candidate is not willing to sign this Pledge or Promise then they are not to be trusted to protect our Montana's Public Trust resources. We should not elect politicians who are not willing to support Montana's Public Trust.
My Montana can have it all - abundant wildlife, frictionless access, prosperous farms and ranches, mythic wildlands, and vibrant towns. This is the Montana we've inherited, but outside forces are changing that, turning neighbors against each other and making us choose between parties and traditions. That's a losing game, and I hope you join me in fighting for the sensible middle, where the sum of our work is much bigger and more enduring than any of us alone.
I have supported conservation efforts and public access through various qualified and science based organizations for 45 years. The contempt for best science in wildlife and wild lands displayed by our current leaders cannot be allowed to prevail. We "the little guys" must organize or be trampled.
As a farmer/rancher in Montana and paying property taxes in 4 counties, I salute this effort. I very much resent the efforts at commercialization of our Public Trust by our elected officials! We all need to stand up and be counted. The best way is the ballet box. Make sure any candidate you vote for is supporting your traditional family values!
I’ve called Montana home for 25 years. I didn’t arrive here because of city streets and restaurants, I settled here because of the vast prairie, the Rocky Mountain Front, and the rivers and secret spots we have named our boys after. I want nothing more than for them to return to Montana, their birthplace, and have it permanently reflect the place their greatest life lessons we’re learned - on a river, in a draw, on a mountaintop and in the quietude of their souls.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS UNQUESTIONABLY REAL AND WE MUST DO EVERYTHING WE CAN POSSIBLY DO TO SLOW IT DOWN --INCLUDING MAKING SOME PERSONAL SACRIFICES.
In June of 1982 I was floating the Beaverhead River below the dam when the landowner came down to the bank and told us we were trespassing on his property. We pointed out that we were floating and he threatened to call the sheriff. After that incident and the subsequent passage of the Montana stream access law it became apparent that upholding the rights of citizens to enjoy the waters and the natural resources of the state must be protected. This simple pledge should be signed by all of our legislators because it transcends party lines.
Very much support this and appreciate those taking the lead to educate us
I am a life time hunter and angler and love our public land and waters. I am deeply committed to conservation, fair chase, and the North American model of wildlife conservation.
Hunting is a big reason many live and work in Montana, and not having to be somebody or rich to hunt public land is a big plus for MONTANA people. Montana public trust coalition sets good standards for us to follow and support
I served as staff researcher for the legislative interim committee considering recreational use of Montana's waters when, in 1984, the Montana Supreme Court decided the Curran and Hildreth cases, relying on the public trust doctrine and the Montana Constitution to affirm Montanans' right to use waters capable of recreational use, their beds and their banks, up to the high-water mark. I'm proud to add that my (later) husband, Bob Ream, co-sponsored hallmark implementing legislation in 1985, along with republican colleague, Bob Marks. The rights established then remain in large part intact today. We take such rights for granted, but they were enshrined for Montanans in these seminal decisions almost 40 years ago. We must remain vigilant in protecting these rights for all Montanans.
As a lifelong hunter and fisherman, having the opportunity to fill the freezer in the fall or catching a fat trout on a fly that I tied is not just a privilege, it is my essence. Living in a state like Montana where I’m not able to do that anymore because places to hunt are locked up due to being leased to outfitters or because the stream access laws have been eroded (Montana has THE best stream access laws that I’ve ever seen), is incomprehensible to me. However, I’m well aware that a scenario like that is possible if our access to our natural resources is taken away by politicians who are motivated more by money than doing what is right and protecting/upholding the Montana constitution. People like this can not be called public servants, and must be voted out.
Peoples ability to enjoy recreational activities on public lands is part of what makes Montana such a special place to live. I will NEVER support the transfer of federal lands to either state ownership or private hands. Wildfire management and responsible stewardship of the land are critical in my view to protecting Montanans’ birthright. I was awarded a Lifetime National Honorary Trout Unlimited membership and the Montana Wildlife Conservation annual award for my efforts on clean water, and I would continue my record of service in Congress.
I grew up hunting and fishing and recreating in Montana. My great grandparents homsteaded in the Bear Paw mountains in the 1880's.
I have stayed in Montana because of the public land recreational opportunities which are now being threatened by wealthy out-of-staters who want to own everything. It is time to stand against greed, lies, and short-sighted individuals who threaten what our Founding Fathers were trying to create and establish when they so eloquently spoke: "We the people". . .
I moved my family to Montana because of the value bestowed upon wildlife, the outdoors and public lands. I do not want to see the public trust violated and privatized as it has become where I came from. Legislature should have no role in setting wildlife policy as happened in the previous session. Our wildlife are property of the people of the state, not to be utilized for the financial gain of the wealthy.
I’ll do my damndest to make sure this state doesn’t end up as screwed as New Mexico is with regards to hunting.
If not you, who, if not now, when!!!
This is a critical pledge to have all Montana representatives sign onto, and an important way to know where they stand on these important issues.
1991 Montana State University Graduate, BS-Fish and Wildlife Mgmt.
Retired Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Wildlife and Fisheries Divisions 1988-2019
Montana Public Land Hunter & Angler since 1984
Access to montana's public lands and waters because its a way of life for my family. It is also vital to my business as a small business owner.
I’m a native Montana. As such, I’ve grown up enjoying the natural beauty that this state has to offer. I hunt and fish exclusively on public land and so grateful for the opportunity to do so. States like Texas that essentially whore out their land and wildlife to whoever is willing to pay the most, sickens me. I have visited and lived in states all over the US and have not yet seen anything that could pull me away from this state and my lifestyle. In recent years it seems more and more out of state investors have been trying increasingly hard to buy and preserve public land for private use to benefit select individuals and that saddens and infuriates me. We need to keep Montana the last best place. Keep Montana wild. Keep our public land public for the enjoyment of everyone. There are far more precious things than the almighty dollar.
It seems to me like many politicians in Montana today are ashamed that there is wildlife on the land. We resident hunters come first not the rich and well connected. Montana has 130 years of wildlife recovery mostly by people that deeply care about the future of wildlife conservation.
I plead with Montana Legislature to protect our Constitution from the assault waged against it, against Montanans, assault waged against our rights to clean air, clean water and the right to hunt and fish.
Our unique Montana Constitution assures that we, as human beings, are part of the natural world by protecting our right to clean air, clean water and to hunt and fish.
The Montana Constitution, approved by Montanans in 1972, stands as one of the nation's premier state constitutions, with its statement of fundamental rights the dignity, privacy, civil rights, and preservation of a "clean and healthful environment." Any action by profit-seeking or discriminatory interest to undermine our Constitution deserves public opprobrium and must be stopped.
I stand in support of the rights of the hunters and anglers of Montana to actively engage in defining management policies of wildlife resources. Legislators need to be held accountable for their role in management that favors outfitters and large landowners at the expense of the licensed hunters and anglers who have paid for the privilege to hunt and fish and are denied access based on outfitter-landowner agreements.
Our children should be able to look forward to a future of public access and use of our public resources for themselves and their children. As a former former public school teacher, life-time union member, and father to 3 young boys, I am proud to stand with all Montanans to protect and defend Montana’s Constitution, particularly our right to hunt and fish and our right to a clean and healthful environment.
Montana is the best state in the country for the public land hunter and fisherman. Let’s keep it that way.
We are the beneficiaries of those in the past that understood the value of wild places and wild animals for all to enjoy. It's our job now to carry that forward for future generations. It's not ours; it is just our turn.
Growing up on a ranch in eastern Montana, I understand the value and need to protect our public wildlife, water, and way of life. The outdoors, hunting, fishing, and recreating are part of the fabric that makes us who we are as Montanans and our state the last best place.
I’m 100% committed to protecting and defending the public trust doctrine in Congress. Our public lands, waters, fish and wildlife are a public resource, held in trust and managed for the benefit of people now and for future generations, and it should stay that way. Montana is becoming a playground for the rich and I refuse to lose the home that I grew up in, worked for my entire life, and love with my whole heart.
We, as a nonprofit organization, commit to supporting, defending and endorsing the Montana Constitution for a clean and healthful environment by adhering to our Mission Statement stated below.
"Gallatin Wildlife Association (GWA) is a local, all volunteer wildlife conservation organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of wildlife, fisheries, habitat and migration corridors in Southwest Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, using science-based decision making. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1976. GWA recognizes the intense pressures on our wildlife from habitat loss and climate change, and we advocate for science-based management of public lands for diverse public values, including but not limited to hunting and angling."
As a BLM Hydrologist for 25 years, Manager of the Dillon Field Office for 12 years and Montana Resident for 45 years, I have spend my career and other pursuits conserving Public Lands in Montana. Most Montana citizens should take this pledge and certainly every elected Montana official should be required to take and stand by this pledge or resign.
I support the Montana Public Trust Alliance as a Montana hunter for 46 years and a landowner who participates in the state Block Management program. I am truly alarmed at the current administration’s efforts to erode access and opportunities for quality hunting and fishing all the while moving towards commercialization of our wildlife and public lands. I will not support any candidate who does not agree to uphold our state constitutional rights to a clean and healthy environment and the concept that our wildlife is for the enjoyment of the public…everyone….not just the rich and entitled.
Appreciate you doing this! It's important to know where our candidates stand on the issue of public trust.
Montanans own our public lands and have a Constitutional right to access public lands and waterways to recreate, hunt, fish, hike, camp and enjoy with their loved ones, friends and neighbors. I'm a state Representative in my eighth year representing Helena and East Helena, and am running to serve the area in the state Senate. I will always fights against wealthy, out of state and corporate interests that attempt to undermine Montanans' rights to our public lands. Thank you.
Mary Ann Dunwell
I pledge to defend Montana's proud tradition of leading the nation in protecting the public trust for all citizens. Ruth Weissman, Candidate for HD 59
What makes Montana, Montana? For surely we all can see, from every perspective, that Montana is something special. When Montana becomes everyplace else, everyone loses. The Montana Constitution and the Public Trust Doctrine relating to Montana wildlife are by Montanans, for Montanans and their guests. They are enacted by people, willingly, with handshakes. If not today, maybe tomorrow, as we get to know each other better. When special interests on any side attempt to legislate their own way, we tear apart the fabric of what makes Montana special. It's one party trying to impose its will upon the other. Stop it. When we talk about hunting and the future of Montana's wildlife, look first to see who else is at the table. Is the hunter there? The landowner? The outfitter? And is one attempting to speak for all, or are we hearing from the people on the ground? Let's keep Montana, Montana.
Our Public Trust is under attack by radical political groups and they will be successful unless all Montanans
speak up to retain our rightful legacies of wildlife protection and good government. I am glad to have this opportunity to join the Coalitiion
Let's bring integrity back to the State's role in wildlife management. Our spectacular wildlife are a treasure for all citizens to enjoy, not a resource to be squandered by the richest few.
When something is as simple and straightforward as taking action to protect our water, land, air, and environment, JUST DO IT! Public lands and public access is essential to the fabric of America. Access to streams, land and open space is as Montana as apple pie and America. We are at a crossroads. We must support the State Constitution today by voting for people who will protect our rights to a healthy environment. There's a reason everyone wants to come here. Let's work together to keep Montana lands, water, and wildlife healthy and available to all. To do that, we must work toward the center as we have for many decades. We have to stand together like neighbors to ensure the protection of our state constitution.
Our local representatives need to be accountable to those they are suppose to represent. Let's make sure we all work towards keeping them that way.
I support this doctrine and will vote accordingly.
As a former FWP commissioner I witnessed first hand the importance of upholding the Public Trust. It truly is the keystone of Montana's fish, wildlife, and recreation conservation. We must fight to ensure the public trust us upheld and adhered to. The opportunity for all, regardless the depths of pocketbooks, to enjoy our state's recourses is a great equalizer.
As a former employee of Montana FWP, I have experienced first hand the many benefits of fish and wildlife management when it is applied with the "common good" as its guiding philosophy.
Public ownership of wildlife and river access are two of the great equalizers in Montana. Anyone with enough gumption and "want to" can hunt and fish all over our great state. The subtle and not so subtle pushes to privatize public land and water, and to privatize or push wildlife off public land and onto private land is a threat to every Montanan who can't afford to buy their own ranch or riverside lot. For ourselves and our children that enjoy Montana's wildlife and waterways we need to ensure we preserve and enhance public access.
Our American birthright is not for sale!
I feel right now our Montana Constitution is at a critical crossroads. Everything we cherish in this document is at risk. Unfortunately, by politics, our abundant wildlife, public lands, clean water and a healthy environment that we call home is slowly being fleeced away without public comment and/or transparency. If Montanans really value our way of life, they need to step up to the plate and make a difference at the ballot box. Let's keep Montana what we all cherish.
The right to hunt and fish in Montana has been, and still is, woven deeply into the fabric of our lives. Our Montana Constitution is vital to the health, well-being, and heritage of Montanans across this magnificent state.
My spouse and I moved our family to Montana in 1973. We came because of the mountains, rivers, streams, lakes, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and communities. We seem to have aged out of hunting, but that has not decreased our love for the landscapes and our joy in being outdoors. Protecting the rights of all Montanans to access clean and healthy environments is key to the health of our state, families, and communities.
Montana’s wildlife should not be for sale and our right to a clean and healthful environment should never be compromised by political leaders. We need to fight hard to protect public land and support native species and fair chase hunting and fishing. We also need to keep regulations and enforcement of strong water and air quality regulations. Money should not control Montana’s wildlife, access to public land, or who has clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. There are plenty of examples of areas that have lost their clean environment and fish and wildlife because they did not fight hard enough to protect them. Montana does not want to go down this road. I appreciate your coalition and support your efforts and I will vote to always protect Montana’s environment and fish and wildlife.
I am a Montanan since before the Constitutional Convention of 1972, which generated our state's guarantee of a clean and healthful environment to all Montanans. That right includes the right to access, enjoy, and protect our public lands, for today and into perpetuity.
I am appalled by what out-of-state interests, aided by corrupt politicians -- almost always from the Republican side (sorry, but truth telling is important) -- are doing to our state. For a lifetime, beginning when I was a kid and hunting with my Dad, I have been able to hunt and access public lands in Montana. Asking for permission used to be a time honored way to meet landowners and hunt their land, or gain access to public lands adjacent to them. Now our state is being overrun by people of the rich, me-me-me mentality and make makes me sick to my stomach, and also just plain sad and distressed at how they are trying to change our state from one of trust, friendliness, and neighborliness to one of mistrust, anger, and bitterness.
We can't let them win. We must protect the public trust (land, air, water, culture). We instead need to strengthen every Montanan's access to public lands. I am a public land owner and have a right to access that land, as do all Montanans (and Americans).
As a Wisconsin native, current Indiana resident and outdoorsman, I appreciate and support Montanan’s continued commitment to protect the fish, wildlife and environment of this great state. My families future opportunities to repeat our amazing experiences in the last greatest place rests on the conscience of Montana’s elected officials. Thank you for fulfilling your duty to preserve our rights as citizens (resident and non-resident) to hunt, fish and enjoy a clean environment in Montana.
I support Montana's 1972 Constitution!!
Wonderful idea . So many politicians will say something to get voted in. To hold them accountable with their signature to support our constitution . Is a great way to hold them accountable. Thank You!!
When the legislature sneaked the wildlife bill through at the end of the legislative session it was a final note that the republican legislature was thoroughly corrupt. They were representing the same groups that always show up when something belonging to Montanans has been put into the legislative trough by a republican legislative bill. These groups are already heavily subsidized by the public. Yet they want more freebees. They are exercising classic Socialism. Stealing from the public is free to them and they want it all. They line up at the public trough with saliva dripping from their mouths.
The public trust of public lands, waters, fish, and wildlife is one of the most important issues facing the citizens of Montana, and we depend on the elected officials of the state to support that trust.
Montanans are being used. Montanans have been voting against their own best interests. We were sold a bad bill of goods and made some very poor choices when choosing who to elect in 2020. Our lack of education, understanding, and work on behalf of our public land, water, fish and wildlife led to some very poor choices when electing the last round of state leadership, and that leadership is currently dismantling our Montana way of life. It is time everyone fixes their mistakes with their vote. Until 2021 we Montanans, in recent history, have been afforded the luxury of enjoying our state and its shared resources under watchful leadership of elected officials who understand our shared values that form the foundation of our public trust and our way of life. These public servants did the hard work for us while we reaped the benefits blissfully unaware of the work that was being done. We have taken all that we hold as the most treasured aspects of our lives for granted and have done very little to do our duty as individuals to protect and conserve them. That all changes now.
I am the State Senator representing Senate District 32 (MSU Campus, West Bozeman, 4 Corners, Gallatin Gateway, Big Sky and West Yellowstone). Needless to say, public lands and public wildlife are critically important to my constituents and I am proud to make the 2022 Montana Public Trust Promise.
I believe in the right to hunt and fish as stated in the Montana constitution. Conservation of wildlife and my hunting and fishing rights should not be bargained with by any of the elected legislators!
More and more the landowners in my area have been selling their property. In the past, many have not had issues with you accessing landlocked public land through their property. This is no longer the case. So many of these landowners are specifically buying land to seal up their access to public lands. In essence extending their own private areas. It's becoming ridiculous and I am concerned that my children will never know the life I have. The Montana way of life is going away, and it kills me.
I lived in Montana for a substantial amount of time while working for the Federal Government and wish I still resided in the State, however I was transferred a few years ago to my Shagrin. With that said, if all FWP is going to do is support land owners and wealthy outfitter clients, how is your average Chevy driving elk hunter going to compete with that money stream? We all pay taxes, including out of staters who pay tax that supports National Forests that hold elk, going to be able to afford to hunt elk or any other big game animal? It is a shame that big money drives everything we do nowadays instead of reasonable thought processes that benefit all of us instead of just the wealthy. I wish I had a lot of money to be able to compete but I don’t, therefore I really don’t count and that is a shame for me, my kids and future generations to come who will never have the opportunity to enjoy the same hunting opportunities I did 20 years ago not because there isn’t any elk to put in our freezer but because we can’t afford it.
Maintaining and furthering public access and rights in Montana to ensure the last best place still exists for my children in the future is what's most important for me.
New Mexico should serve as a cautionary tale as to what happens to resident hunting opportunity and the very outdoors traditions that include hunting and angling when our elected and appointed officials privatize a publicly owned resource. New Mexicans are fighting with everything we have to reverse the egregious privatization of our natural resources, but it’s a lot tougher to undo once established. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I stand ready to support the resident hunters of Montana in every way possible to prevent the atrocities that we’ve experienced in New Mexico.
As a hunter, fisherman, and public lands recreational user, it saddens me to see the erosion of the public trust occurring under this legislature and administration. Montanans of all political persuasions need to come together to protect this heritage that previous generations fought so hard to preserve.
My rights, as delineated in Montana’s Constitution, should not be jeopardized by radical politicians. Let us know WHERE YOU STAND, so we can make informed voting decisions.
Conservative family that spends as much time as possible camping, fishing, hunting, and rafting. Our Montana public lands and waters are where we spend as much time as possible and raise our kids understanding and respecting the importance of the resource.
If it aint broke, don't fix it.
I am very concerned that our constitution will be under attack during the next legislature.
When I’m elected to the Montana Legislature, I am fully committed protecting the Montana Constitution and thus protecting our environment and Montanans rights to harvest fish and wildlife.
Clean and healthy environment is very important to me and my family.
I support the Montana Public Trust Coalition and Montana's Constitution. Please help keep Montana's public lands public with equal access for all to enjoy recreational opportunities in our beautiful and wild state.
Thank you, Diane K. Boyd
We value our precious yet imperiled public lands and their biodiversity. We are proud to sign on to this effort to protect the public trust.
Gail and John Richardson
Montana is at a crossroads. When I set aside the drama of partisan politics and asked myself what I cared about most in this world the answer was clear. I want nothing more than the right to hunt, fish, access public land, and a clean and healthful environment. More importantly I want these things for my children’s children. Organizations like this and others with these interests caused me to see through the rhetoric and vote with these priorities at the front of my conscience.
I’m an avid public land hunter and angler. I am also a huge proponent of conservation and the North American Model of wildlife manage. Public wildlife held in trust for public benefit. I am also concerned with the direction the Montana governor and legislature is taking Montanas great hunting and fishing heritage.
It is time to wake up and remove Legislators who quietly chip away at the foundation of our fish and wildlife heritage in Montana.
The Public Trust doctrine is not simply codified in the Montana Constitution, but embedded in the history of our state. We ranch along Mission Creek in Park County and neither we nor our neighbors think that the abundant fish and game in our area is "ours." In cooperation with Fish, Wildlife, and Parks we've put together a good program for elk hunting in particular that allows access but helps ensure that no harm is done to our land. It's founded on the the idea that there is a Public Trust in the wildlife that we share the landscape with. Corky and Vanessa Brittan
I left a state with lots of jobs and very little public land (Virginia) for a state with lots of public land, abundant wildlife and far fewer jobs. I've been able to float and wade rivers, hike, hunt and fish, and cross-country ski, all thanks to public lands and the public trust. Theodore Roosevelt set aside my Montana ranch. It's a large one. It's yours too. I don't want to see it jeopardized.
Montana has led the nation in protecting the public trust for all citizens. Montanans respect and treasure our public trust resources. Today, as never before, we must speak up loudly and clearly to protect our hunting and fishing heritage against the forces that threaten to change that. To remain silent is not an option, it is betrayal to our kids and grandkids. The partisan politics that threaten to divide us must be defeated to protect what we treasure for all future generations to enjoy as we have.
Former Representative to and current candidate for House District 25
Story to share... While researching a book years ago, I realized I didn't know who first came up with the "North American Model," so I called Jim. He wasn't sure, but thought it was Val Geist in Canada. So I called Val, who wasn't certain either, but he thought it was Jim. The important point is that someone did, and the concept is more important than ever now that Montana wildlife management is threatened by politics and outside money. I strongly support the coalition's commitment to maintaining democratic, scientific management as outlined in the North American Model. Don Thomas, Lewistown
Montana has a rich and honorable history of men and women who developed and sustained the public trust in its conservation policies and hunting heritage. It is imperative that we honor their efforts and accomplishments by our pursuit of initiatives that embody and enhance these fundamental rights.
Public land and waters are essential to the future of hunting and fishing by the broad public of Montana. Many forces conspire to capture exclusive use of and access to our federal and state lands and waters, and the wildlife remaining there. The best hope for the future of these important habitats, species, and peoples' enjoyment of them is holding all in Public Trust.
Having spent my career as a wildlife biologist working on waterfowl, upland bird, and wetland management issues, I whole-heartedly support the concept of public trust in conservation as expressed by the Coalition. The science of wildlife management needs to be expanded even further to continue fostering the public trust and the objective management of our natural resources for all Montanans. Thank you for your work!
Let's get back to scientific wildlife management and politics for all the people by the people.
As a lifelong sportsman and 6th generation rancher I have been concerned about the increasing amount of wildlife management that has been assumed by our legislative system. In our current polarized political situation we are not having good citizens involved decisions for our wildlife.
Our public lands, waters, and wildlife make Montana the Last Best Place. Our message is simple: they're not for sale.
I support professional scientific wildlife management, public ownership of wildlife, and public access to public lands.
We need to come together to elect people who will work for the public interest, not for those behind the corporate veil.
I am pleased to support Montana Public Trust. The need for this fine group is acute and critical.
The mission here is that of the late Jim Posewitz, with his reverence for public lands and his enduring confidence that the American public will do the right thing--protect our public lands from those who would permanently ruin them for short-term profit and personal gain.
The forces which attempt to rob the public trust for personal benefit and personal enrichment are powerful, eternal and nefarious. In part, similar forces drove our declaration of independence from Royal England. Owning and sharing public land, public water, and public wildlife is an American birthright - it is unique to America - and it sets us apart from the rest of the world. Protecting these public resources (the public trust) for the next generation is a patriotic act. I'm proud to sign on to the pledge to show my unyielding support for protecting our public land, water and wildlife, our rights to hunt and fish, and our right to a clean and healthy environment.
Montana tradition of public access and defending the public trust is unique in the world. That leadership is essential as our state and planet change. Nothing makes me and my family more proud than to know the land, water and air are ours - our communities, all of our peoples. And, not just for those with money and power.
I glad you have formed this effort. Legislators need to be held accountable.
Citizen access to public lands is foundational to all of us who live and work in Montana. It is our sanctuary. Efforts to limit access or sell rights to the highest bidder are fundamentally counter to what it means to be a "Montanan". We need to protect this public trust for our generation and the seven generations that follow.
I support the outdoors through hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. I am not happy with the direction the leaders of Montana are taking our state. You can count on me for support.