At a news conference in Billings’ Riverfront Park on Thursday, Gov. Bullock spoke on his 3-step initiative to bolster Montana’s public lands.  First, the governor has directed the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to hire a public access specialist to better utilize the estimated $6 billion power of the state’s outdoor recreation industry.
It’s an attempt to get anglers, hunters and other recreationists on to the state’s nearly 2 million acres of inaccessible public property.
The other two prongs of the access initiative involve asking legislators to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation in the governor’s office of Economic Development. The Legislature could also untie the restrictions it has placed on the spending of Habitat Montana funds.  Habitat Montana was created by the Legislature in 1987. The program is funded mainly by nonresident hunting license fees. Bullock said the current restrictions don’t allow any land to be purchased, which doesn’t sense.