On the Issues

Public Lands

In Montana, we know that our public lands are one of the most important things that we all share. They belong to each and every one of us, and are one of our greatest equalizers: all Montanans, regardless of background or income, have the same access to our state’s wealth of public lands and waters. And public lands are not only a part of Montanans’ way of life – they support our outdoor recreation industry, one of the state’s biggest economic drivers.

As Governor, Steve has fought tirelessly to protect and expand public access, and he’ll continue that fight every day in the Senate.


Our public lands must be protected and managed responsibly for future generations to enjoy. It is critical that we fight back against any and all efforts to privatize or sell off public lands, and oppose those who want to do so. We will also ensure that adequate funding is provided to maintain existing access and create new opportunities for Montanans to enjoy the treasures of our state. Our children and grandchildren should be able to enjoy the same opportunities to hunt, fish, and recreate on public lands that we have today.


As Attorney General, Steve fought against out of state interests when they tried to overturn Montana’s Stream Access Law and fought efforts to block access to Montana’s public lands.

As Governor, Steve vetoed bills that threatened Montana’s public lands. He restored funding for the Habitat Montana program and went to court to defend conservation easements, which created new opportunities for access. As a member of the state’s Land Board, Steve used his office to open up tens of thousands of acres for recreation in Montana and create new fishing access sites, while managing state trust lands responsibly to ensure that our schools received the funding they needed. Steve created Montana’s Office of Outdoor Recreation to support the businesses that rely on public lands and the jobs they create. And as fire seasons have become longer and more intense in recent years, Steve created the Fire Suppression Fund to ensure Montana has adequate resources to address this threat.

In the Senate, he will represent our state’s outdoor heritage and make sure Montana stays the last best place for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.