Read the Room: New Poll Shows Montanans Reject Greg Gianforte’s Continued Assault On Public Lands
90% of Montanans Say Public Lands Have A Positive Effect On Their Lives And Believe They Help Montana’s Economy
The results of the University of Montana’s 2020 Public Lands Survey confirmed that Montanans see public lands as a net positive for their quality of life and an important factor in growing the state’s economy. About 90% of respondents said they think “public lands have a positive effect on clean water and quality of life,” and that public lands help Montana’s economy.
This is bad news for GOP gubernatorial candidate Rep. Greg Gianforte, who has a reputation for repeatedly trying to undermine access to public lands. He lost his 2016 bid for governor after it was revealed he had bought up large tracts of land and then sued to block public access to a popular local fishing spot adjacent to the property.
In Congress, he’s continued his crusade against public lands. Former Montana BLM Directors said two bills Gianforte introduced would “strip protections from cherished public lands.” In a 2018 version of this poll, Montanans overwhelmingly said they wanted Congress “to increase or maintain protections for the seven national forest Wilderness Study Areas in Montana.” That scared Gianforte so much that he tried (unsuccessfully) to discredit the results.
“This poll clearly shows that Montanans across party lines want their elected officials to protect public lands,” said DGA National Press Secretary Jerusalem Demsas. “New Jersey Millionaire Greg Gianforte has continuously tried to undermine public lands in Congress – which might explain why he’s the least popular elected official in Montana. Greg Gianforte needs to read the room – Montanans won’t elect someone as governor whose values are at odds with theirs.”