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Governor Steve Bullock Touts Forests in Focus – Supports John Walsh [YouTube]

Governor Steve Bullock visited Milltown State Park on Friday to tout his “Forests in Focus” plan, but faced unavoidable questions from the press about the plagiarism charges against Senator John Walsh.

Bullock was at the park with representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and other agencies, to see the progress the various agencies are making in developing the area so that forest health can be initiated and continued.

“It’s not all the time that we can get the parks division and the DNRC working together saying ‘let’s enhance this park’,” Bullock said. “But with the same token, let’s look at it towards the long term, in that what can we do to enhance both the forest and the park.”

Montana DNRC Chief John Tubbs said a continuing frustration in developing and improving forest and public lands is lawsuits filed by just a few individuals that hamper the efforts of state and federal agencies.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of environmental analysis, lots of public outreach and we’ve built whole collaborations around completing a project only to be forestalled by a lawsuit by one of three individuals in the state of Montana,” Tubbs said. “We’re really working hard to overcome that, and we’re hoping that our resources combined with federal agencies tips it over, and we can start moving forward on some projects.”

Following the presentation at the state park, Bullock took questions from the press about the plagiarism allegations that have recently surfaced about his former Lieutenant Governor John Walsh.

“I thought he served the state well, and he continues to serve the state well,” Bullock said when asked if he would appoint Walsh now, even after the allegations of plagiarism surfaced. Bullock was then asked if he would stand behind Walsh as his Senate campaign continues. “Going forward, I think he’s been doing a great job as a Senator, just as he did a good job for me as Lieutenant Governor.”

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