Study Highlights Public Lands as Economic Powerhouse in Montana

MONTANA’S TOP BUSINESS ADVOCACY GROUP FOR PUBLIC LANDS ISSUES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO NEW COLORADO COLLEGE “CONSERVATION IN THE WEST POLL”

(Bozeman, MT) – A newly released bipartisan survey conducted by Colorado College shows a strong connection between Montana’s public lands and the state’s economic development. The 2017 Conservation in the West poll revealed that voters in the Mountain West do not want to see the Trump Administration enact a dramatic change of course in America’s public lands policy. Read the full poll results here.

Six in ten Montanans polled said they opposed a transfer of federal lands to the state. 92 percent of those polled in Montana said they supported improving and repairing infrastructure in national parks. 88 percent called for improved access to public lands while 77 percent support allowing more wind and solar projects on public lands.

“Montana businesses are strategically poised to attract and retain talent because of public access to our public lands. Threatening our public lands is a direct attack on one of Montana’s most prized business assets,” said Marne Hayes, executive director of Business for Montana’s Outdoors. “We know protecting our rivers, national forests and public lands helps support local jobs and we hope the new Administration supports these jobs that are a lifeline to Montana’s economy.”

Earlier this month, Business for Montana’s Outdoors wrote to President Trump’s Interior Secretary nominee, Congressman Ryan Zinke, asking him to sign a pledge dedicated to Montana’s outdoor values. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, Montana’s outdoor economy generates $1.5 billion in wages and salaries, $5.8 billion in consumer spending, $403 million in state and local tax revenue, and supports 64,000 jobs. Business for Montana’s Outdoors includes 130 businesses responsible for more than 3,500 Montana jobs.

Marne Hayes