Let’s switch tracks for just a minute. I know you are all on the edge of your seats waiting for the next report on the Montana Legislature, but even though it’s hard to believe, there is other news out there. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives failed by two votes to pass the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. This is a really important collection of legislation that will ensure access and opportunity for fishermen and hunters across the nation. It would designate two million acres of wilderness in nine states. It protects 1.2 million acres of vital habitat in the Wyoming Range from oil and gas development. It protects free-flowing rivers and it designates numerous new National Scenic Trails, Natural Historic Sites, and National Heritage Areas across the nation and lots of other good stuff. Overall, the public lands package is the culmination of more than a decade of work by citizens, mayors, local communities, and conservation groups around the nation. Good article in The New West.
This is a really important piece of legislation. It needed a 2/3 vote to pass and got overwhelming support on a 282-144 vote, just two votes shy of the needed majority. And, guess who voted Nay on this really good bill? Why, yessir, it was your own Congressman Dennis Rehberg! That little snot. He seems to do this stuff over and over again. There is a good chance that we will get another chance to pass this legislation and I want to see letters and emails from every one of you to Congressman Denny telling him that you and many other Montanans support this act.
Here’s his website, where he touts all the good things he’s done for the Montana environment (okay, it’s a small website) and here’s Rehberg’s Email Form where you can let him know that us folks in Montana are not pleased by his vote. Computer in the shop? Give Denny’s office a call toll free at 1-888-232-2626. If none of that works for you, just drive by and egg his local district office.