Public lands

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There is nothing better than soaking up the Montana summer on our public lands. New generations of Montanans and old can enjoy our pristine waters, mountains and wildlife. One popular spot in our state, the Upper Missouri Breaks, has been in the news lately as Secretary of the Interior and former Montana congressman Ryan Zinke was considering revoking its national monument status. Thankfully he released a statement that he is not going to make any changes to The Breaks, but other national monuments are still at risk.

Without the designation, our national monuments would face greedy out-of-state private interests who want to take advantage of our resources and limit public access. Communities surrounding monuments benefit from millions of dollars of revenue from tourists annually. A threat to our monuments is a threat to our economy.

Secretary Zinke has said he will not delist the Breaks, but his review is not complete until Aug. 25. He needs to know that Montanans will fight any change to our public lands. Please contact Secretary Zinke and urge him to protect the Breaks and other national monuments.

Katy Westhoff, Missoula

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