Montana Politics

Why Doesn’t Rick Hill Care What Montanans Think?

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Delaware-based businessman Rick Hill is still struggling to find a message that will resonate with Montana voters. Last week, he tried to score points by taking a cheap shot at Max Baucus over the Rocky Mountain Front:

“People keep asking, ‘How are we going to protect the [Rocky Mountain] Front?’ The real question should be, ‘How are we going to protect the front from Max Baucus?’ ” Hill added that he supports access for grazing and ranching rights, access by ATVs, and stricter management of wolves and grizzlies.

Hill added that the rights of the private landowner should be paramount in any discussions. “Their voices have to be heard. It’s their land, their heritage. These families have a historical connection to the soil.”

Perhaps instead of listening to right-wing Astroturf groups for his talking points, Congressman Hill should listen to actual Montanans with real historical connections to the land, like Dupuyer rancher Karl Rappold:

“My family has been ranching here for 128 years and the Act will help protect the Front’s wild lands and working landscapes for generations to come.”

If forced to pick between a Delaware-based businessman and a Montana rancher who really knows the land, I’m inclined to believe the latter.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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