#TBT to When Developer Matt Rosendale Tried to Make it Easier to Sell Off Public Lands

Brooke BainumNews

Helena – Time and again, wealthy East Coast developer Matt Rosendale has shown us he is bad on public lands, and today we celebrate yet another bad anniversary.

Six years ago this month, Rosendale, as a state legislator, was an original co-sponsor on a measure that would direct the Montana Land Board to transfer management of some public lands from the federal government to the state and restrict future federal public land acquisitions.

Maryland Matt’s measure would have directed the Montana Land Board to acquire federally-managed public lands. These moves are often seen as the first step in cutting off access to public lands. The measure died after being tabled in committee, but Rosendale’s bad record on public lands lives on.

He supported and campaigned on a plan in his failed 2014 Congressional bid to transfer federal public lands to the state – an effort criticized by Republicans, Montana’s wildlife officials and editorial boards, because transferring land to the state could force Montana to sell off its public lands, increase grazing rates and devastate our state budget.

That’s not all – in 2015, Rosendale voted to create a task force, with the pretense of studying land management, which would have actually cost tens of thousands of dollars. The proposal faced criticism from Montana sportsmen, conservation and outdoor recreation groups because it was “anti-public lands” and a “backdoor to talks of transferring or selling off public lands.”

Rosendale’s continued failure to defend our public lands – and his proactive efforts to make it easier to sell them off – makes it obvious he cannot be trusted to stand up for Montana values.

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