Standing alongside the East Gallatin River where Greg Gianforte sued to block access, Cooney called out Greg Gianforte’s long, anti-public lands record, while laying out his vision for defending and protecting access
BOZEMAN—Standing alongside the East Gallatin River, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney today slammed his Republican opponent Greg Gianforte’s record on public lands access in Montana. Gianforte, a multimillionaire from New Jersey, infamously sued the state of Montana to block access to a popular fishing access site near his million-dollar property on the East Gallatin River.
“I have fought my entire life to defend Montana’s public lands and rivers from people like Greg Gianforte. Montana is so special because you don’t need to be a millionaire to spend the day fly-fishing right here on the East Gallatin. Whether you can hike or hunt or bike or camp doesn’t depend on the size of your checkbook,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney.
“Gianforte’s out-of-touch views have real consequences for Montana. Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan win for Montana’s public lands and outdoor economy.
I have personally urged Gianforte to co-sponsor the bill – still, he has refused. When I confronted Mr. Gianforte with his own record, he had the nerve to call me a liar. I know, pretty rich, even coming from a multimillionaire,” Cooney continued.
“Well Mr. Gianforte, back in Butte, we don’t take too kindly to being called names, especially from someone who has such a well documented history of playing fast and loose with the truth.
I’m stunned that Mr. Gianforte wants to compare his record on public lands to mine, because my record is crystal clear – I have always fought to keep public lands in public hands.
Mr. Gianforte simply can’t say the same.”
Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney’s press conference comes on the same day the Great American Outdoors Act is set to pass the House of Representatives, which Greg Gianforte has
refused to sign on to, even after Cooney personally called Gianforte to urge him to co-sponsor. Yesterday, Gianforte even doubled down on his anti-public lands agenda by refusing to condemn the nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management.
Gianforte’s anti-public lands stances are well documented: in addition to suing the state to block access, he supports transferring management of federal land, and he opposes buying any new land for state parks or fishing access sites. In Congress, Gianforte wrote legislation to strip protections from nearly 700,000 acres of public lands — without public input — a move described by conservation advocates as potentially “the single biggest rollback of protected public lands in Montana history.”