Bill Stoddart

I moved out West from Western New York, where I grew up playing in the open spaces around our house. Those youthful experiences of complete and utter freedom – where there was nothing between the clouds and me – inspired me to seek similar opportunities as an adult.

Today, public lands are where my family and I vacation, where we recreate, where we challenge ourselves, and where we come together in awe of the fact that there is something larger than all of us that we can see, hear and feel just by being there.

But the existence of public lands, both here in Montana and throughout the West, is not a Constitutional right. We are constantly facing budgetary constraints, efforts to undermine the value of those lands, and outright attacks on the legality of public lands. Those who would take these lands and strip them of their value are hell bent on getting their way and will not tire in their efforts.

Our public lands need us. Whether it is purchasing hunting and fishing licenses to support conservation programs, informing ourselves about challenges and threats to public lands and public lands access, or getting involved in the Montana Outdoor Heritage Project. We can all help our public lands thrive.

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