MISSOULA - Governor Greg Gianforte hosted a discussion at Missoula’s Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on Wednesday to discuss priorities ahead of the upcoming legislative session in January.
Members from the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) also attended the event.
Wednesday's panel discussion focused on what Gov. Gianforte calls "protecting our Montana way of life".
We asked the governor what he meant by that term.
"I think that's probably a little different to every single Montana. I know for me, as a hunter and a fisherman and an outdoorsman, it's these are not things that we do. They're not activities. It's really who we are. It's an identity and access to lands for hunting and fishing is part of our identity. And that's why the work that Rocky Mountain Elk is doing at FWP DNRC as well as our administration to make sure Montanans continue to have access is so critically important." - Gov. Greg Gianforte
We asked the governor if he was familiar with the expansion of Holland Lake Lodge, which has sparked controversy in Western Montana.
"I'm not familiar with the details there. But let me say on any public land use issues. It's I always strive for consensus in the local community. I think that's critical. And I laid out the priorities. You know, public lands have to stay in public lands, we have to be working to increase access, and the voice of the local community needs to be heard." - Gov. Greg Gianforte
The initial public comment period for the Holland Lake Lodge proposal is over, but U.S. Forest Service officials say another public comment period will open once further environmental analysis ends.
A decision on the proposal is expected by February or March of next year.