Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Rosendale plans to subdivide your hunting heritage

by Ryan Busse
| September 6, 2020 12:00 AM

Heads up Montanans, we’ve got a multimillionaire developer from Maryland trying to sell our hunting and fishing spots so that he and his buddies can turn a quick profit. Maryland Matt Rosendale is back for another try at elected office – his sixth in nine years – but the poor guy still can’t help himself from bragging to his friends about his extreme anti-public lands beliefs.

“I have long been an advocate for the transfer of Federal Public Land,” he proudly proclaimed just a few years ago. And just so his developer buddies can hear, he offers up his own reason, “As I told you, I develop property!” He’s even dreamt aloud of all the money he could make if he is elected to office, “if we had control of those lands, we could generate tremendous economic development opportunity.”

Hailing from Maryland, it’s obvious that Rosendale just does not appreciate how important these places are to Montanans. He just does not get that our public lands already generate over $7billion and support almost 75,000 Montana jobs. He thinks he can fool us into letting him subdivide our heritage, but Montanans are too smart for that.

It's not that we haven't given Matt a few chances to redeem himself. But even then, he just keeps digging a deeper hole. While he sat on the state land board Rosendale led the opposition to a Montana ranching Family who wanted to grant an easement for hunting and fishing on their ranch. Thousands of sportsmen and women, along with the Ranchers, pleaded with Rosendale to approve the Horse Creek project – but he refused to yield.

Let’s face it, It takes a special kind of abrasiveness to move from Maryland and then tell Montana ranchers that they can’t let people hunt on their own place, but that's exactly what Rosendale did.

Now Matt Rosendale is back for another try. He’s just like that pesky salesman you can’t shake. He wants you to trust this new schtick just long enough for him to slip your vote into his pocket. I guess he’s thinking we can be fooled into believing he’s not the same guy who wants to sell and subdivide our public lands.

Matt Rosendale might pull that off in Maryland, but folks around our state know better than to trust a guy like this. This is not a used car or a timeshare. Our lives and hunting heritage are at stake.

The Montanans that share my hunting camps always offer up wise advice around our campfires, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” Rosendale has shown us exactly what kind of leader he’ll be, now let's exercise good Montana judgement by electing Kathleen Williams to Congress and make sure Maryland Matt never comes within spitting distance of elected office again.

Ryan Busse has served as advisor to the Congressional sportsmen's caucus as board chair for Montana Conservation Voters and North American Board Chair for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. He lives in Kalispell.