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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Juneau, Zinke Point Fingers Over Public Land Transfer

Kootenai National Forest sign.
Josh Burnham

The candidates for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House today both sought to make news out of their positions on control of federal public lands.

First, Republican Congressman Ryan Zinkepublicized his vote against a Republican bill that would permit up to two million acres of U.S. Forest Service lands to be transferred to state ownership. Zinke called it “an extreme proposal” that he won’t tolerate.

He said he was the only Republican that voted against the bill as it passed out of committee today.

Hours later, his Democratic challenger Denise Juneau pointed out that Zinke also today voted for another Republican public lands bill. That bill would transfer management of some National Forest lands to new “advisory boards” appointed by state governors.

Juneau’s press release says, “While Congressman Zinke equivocates on our public lands, I’m 100 percent opposed to the sale or transfer of America’s public lands, I always have been and always will be.”

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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