Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Montana Governor Greg Gianforte visited the World Headquarters of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on Wednesday, and after a tour of the massive facility, spoke to reporters about his emphasis on land use issues as the 2023 Montana Legislative Session approaches.

“Today we're really rolling out our policies for the upcoming legislature as it relates to public lands priorities,” began Governor Gianforte. “There won't be surprises. We're going to become better stewards of our forests. We're going to increase access, and those are really the two pillars.”

Gianforte Addresses 'Access Deserts' in Montana

Gianforte announced that his administration is addressing what are called ‘access deserts’ to better open up important public lands to more visitors.

“We did make some announcements today,” he said. “In particular we've inventoried all the ‘access deserts’ on all our navigable rivers. We're going to use that as a map to figure out where we need boat ramps and campgrounds, of course with the voice of local communities engaged.”

Gianforte Announces More  Access to Great Snowy Mountains

There was one particular announcement made at the press conference regarding the Great Snowy Mountains which will open up the area for hunting and fishing, as well as preserving agricultural access.

“We are celebrating also today the Snowy Mountains Wildlife Management Area which the state just acquired, opening up access to 100,000 acres of public land for ‘in perpetuity’ for hunting access, and we also kept it in production for agriculture, so we'll always keep graze cattle as well. And we're pleased to do that here at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.”

Gianforte Questions Judge's Decision on Striking Down Election Laws

At the press conference, Gianforte was also asked about the upcoming election and election security.

The Governor said his number one message to all Montanans is to vote in the upcoming general election next Tuesday. He referenced the three bills passed by the 2021 Montana Legislature dealing with voting which were all effectively canceled by one Montana District Court Judge.

Also appearing at the press conference was Amanda Kaster, director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Hank Worsech, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

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