Montana AG hopeful unveils aggressive public lands strategy

E&E News

August 4, 2020

The Democrat vying to serve as Montana's new attorney general today laid out an aggressive plan for protecting public lands in the state.

Raph Graybill said he would create a position in the attorney general's office dedicated to fighting illegal road closures and restoring access to property set aside for land and wildlife conservation.
"Public lands make Montana special," Graybill's campaign said in a statement accompanying the plan. "They're where we hunt, fish, recreate, connect with our families and seek out solitude."
The statement continued, "They're part of who we are as Montanans. And they're worth fighting for."
Graybill, who currently serves as chief legal counsel to term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D), also plans to pursue fines against large polluters and spend those dollars on restoration programs. He also seeks to address climate threats to public lands and protect access to streams, among other actions.
"Defending our public lands is one of the main reasons Graybill entered this race," his campaign said.
Austin Knudsen, a former state House speaker and Graybill's Republican opponent, has faced criticism for his efforts to seal off access to public lands through sales. He is running on a platform focused on private property rights, limited government and economic recovery.
Knudsen and Graybill are in a wide-open race for state attorney general. Incumbent Tim Fox (R) ran for governor but lost in the primary against Rep. Greg Gianforte.