I’ve said in the past that there are some in Washington, D.C., who want to place a fence around the whole state of Montana, put a padlock on the gate, and control entry in the name of wilderness or to make the whole state a National Monument.
The newest attempt, this time from the Obama Administration, is called “Treasured Landscapes” and Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester are caught in the middle of this debacle where documents have been withheld from the public and the Administration is poised to use the Antiquities Act to get their land.
I wrote about this back in July. You can read that commentary HERE.
Thankfully Congressman Denny Rehberg has been on top of this fly-by-night attempt by the Obama Administration. He will host a panel discussion at the Lewistown Civic Center on Friday (August 20) at 3:00 p.m.
I doubt Senators Baucus and Tester will show up in Lewistown to take notes.
I’m not against National Monuments or wilderness areas as long as there is public input and private property is not taken or tied up by the Feds. This needs to be an open and honest dialog from officials and citizens throughout the whole process, but this plan was tainted when their internal document was leaked that showed there were already plans to use the Antiquities Act to get what they want (Page 5, PDF):
Should the legislative process not prove fruitful, or if a nationally significant natural or cultural land resource were to come under threat of imminent harm, BLM would recommend that the Administration consider using the Antiquities Act to designate new National Monuments by Presidential Proclamation.
The Obama Administration has ruined this process. Montanans did not trust the Federal Government very much before this document was uncovered and now, there’s no trust that the Feds want to hear from Montanans.
It’s time for Senators Baucus and Tester to tell their friends in the Obama Administration to terminate the Treasured Landscapes plan. Montanans’ vision and values are not the same as the President’s.