Protect Our Way of Life
Governor Gianforte and some lawmakers want to permanently slash voter-approved tax revenue from state parks, trails, habitat and public access programs. Please ask them to protect our dedicated conservation dollars by signing the open letter below:
Dear Governor Greg Gianforte and members of the 68th legislative session,
I urge you to uphold your commitment to Montana’s great outdoors and our access to it.
In 2021, you passed and signed HB 701 into law to create a new dedicated funding commitment for Montana's great outdoors. This bipartisan legislation directed revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana toward several popular but underfunded programs that unlock public access, support state parks and trails, and protect wildlife habitat and working ranches.
Now, we ask that you uphold this promise to current and future generations. The State must soon pass a new budget during the 68th Montana Legislative session. This budget should not erode the funding commitments that were already agreed to last session, through HB 701.
Specifically, Habitat Montana is our state’s best tool to protect critical wildlife habitat, maintain our traditional working lands, and provide public access to the outdoors. For over three decades, the State has utilized a stable source of Habitat Montana funding to help local landowners voluntarily protect what we love best about Montana. We urge you to maximize Habitat Montana's impact and protect our other critical investments in public trails and state parks by maintaining this new funding source as voters intended.
A recent University of Montana poll showed that 82 percent of voters desire that lawmakers protect this investment. Republicans, independents, and Democrats all agree that recreational marijuana taxes should continue to be dedicated to state parks, trails stewardship, the Habitat Montana program, and wildlife management efforts.
Please continue to support our great outdoors. Montana’s wide-open farms and ranches, abundant wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities fuel our way of life, generate tens of thousands of jobs, and sustain our state’s economy. This is not just an investment in our land, water, and wildlife. It’s in an investment in our way of life, our freedom to get outdoors, and our economic well-being.
Cuts to Outdoor Access Funds Are Unnecessary
Gianforte’s budget proposal, released in mid-November, proposes to permanently cut voter-approved revenue that is used to protect wildlife and improve hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking.
The effort to stop any permanent changes to the Habitat Montana program will take place during the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January.
It's time to ask the Governor keeps his word to the people of Montana and prioritize access to public lands. That can’t happen without restoring the substantial funding he has proposed to permanently remove. These public access dollars are incredibly popular and were approved by a majority of Montana voters