HELENA — In an advertising campaign to be launched on Sunday, more than 2,500 Montanans call on U.S. Senator Steve Daines to drop his threats to obstruct the nomination of U.S. Representative Deb Haaland to lead the Department of Interior. The ad (attached), paid for by the Montana Wildlife Fund, notes that Haaland will “ensure a balanced approach to our public lands that is right for wildlife conservation, our communities and future generations.”

“Montanans deserve a champion for our state’s $7 billion outdoor recreation economy and the 71,000 jobs it supports,” said Frank Szollosi, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Fund. “Rep. Haaland has a strong bipartisan record in Congress and a history of bringing sportsmen and landowners together in New Mexico. We respectfully urge Senator Daines to choose leadership over hyper-partisanship and support her nomination.”

“Senator Daines has the opportunity to vote for someone to lead the Department of Interior toward an improved relationship between the federal government and Tribes,” said Ta’Jin Perez, deputy director of Western Native Voice. “Representative Deb Haaland will bring a much-needed sea change to Interior while ensuring that our nation’s unparalleled natural resources are protected and shared with all Americans. Montana’s Native voters are watching and Senator Daines has the opportunity to do what’s right for all Montanans and all Americans.”

Signers came from all over the state, from Circle to Lame Deer to Troy.   

Jeff Ament, Big Sandy native, co-founder and bassist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Pearl Jam, signed the petition and said, “Rep. Deb Haaland has been a tireless advocate in Congress – often reaching across the aisle – to ensure that families have expanded access to and protecting our public lands. She will bring back balance and common sense to the Department of Interior– something that has been sorely lacking for the past four years,” he said, “And as an indigenous woman, she’ll bring a big picture perspective to the administration we’ve never had.  Senator Daines is missing the boat by siding with oil and gas companies instead of a million Montanans." 

Anne Jolliff, a mother, teacher, hunter and all-around outdoorswoman from Montana City, said she signed the petition because Deb Haaland shares her values. “Conservation and recreation are very important to me and my family. Deb Haaland will manage our public lands so that wildlife populations and our sporting traditions will thrive for generations to come.” 

The full-page print ad will appear Sunday in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Billings Gazette, and the Great Falls Tribune and Monday in the Helena Independent Record. Ads are also running in the online versions of the Missoulian and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 

Representative Haaland’s confirmation hearing will be held Tuesday, February 23, in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee. Senator Daines is a member of the committee.

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