Rep. Ryan Zinke, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau Comment on Montana Public Lands
Public lands and federal management became a hot topic in Montana's congressional race this week when Denise Juneau unveiled her four point plan for dealing with forest issues and accused her opponent, Congressman Ryan Zinke of supporting the transfer of federal land to the states. Here is how Juneau explains her plan.
"My priorities when I go to Congress, there will be four of them," Juneau said. "Number one: preventing wholesale transfers or sales of America's public lands. Number two: we need to put more people to work in the woods. Number three: Cutting red tape for Montana businesses, making permitting easier and such. And number four, of course, investing in the future of our forests, rivers and parks."
Zinke jokingly accused Juneau of plagiarism, saying that three of her four priorities were the same as his. He also denied claims by Juneau that he was in support of a bill that would have transferred federal lands.
"The bill did not transfer, the bill did not sail, it specifically had language in it that protected hunting rights," Zinke said. "As a matter of fact, the bill was consistent with current law that Steve Bullock is in support of, of stewardship programs. It's about management. There are some places in Montana that the state is in a better position to manage."
The issue of transferring federal lands has popped up in the Montana gubernatorial race as well. However, neither Zinke, Juneau, Gov. Steve Bullock or gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte are on record of supporting federal land transfers and the candidates appear to have a lot in common.