Growing up in the Bitterroot Valley, I learned that public lands have consistently been an integral part of people's livelihoods. Hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation activities are the cultural backbone of Montana. Without public lands, these activities would be impossible for most people, and our state would look a lot different. Without the proper funding, lands that hold great value are in jeopardy. There are $600 million dollars in unmet public land needs in Montana, such as the maintenance of trails and campgrounds. The public lands of Montana are in desperate need of more funding. If there is not more funding soon, it will be difficult to keep these lands open to the public. That is why I support legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana, which would provide over 20 million dollars for conservation annually -- money that will go directly into improving public access and protecting our clean water, public lands, wildlife, and state parks. This means funding for land that all Montanans enjoy-- to hunt, fish, and recreate on. That is why I am voting YES on both I-190 and CI-118 to protect and conserve Montana's public lands.

-Elise Striebel

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