Bullock unveils plan to protect public lands

Bullock unveils plan to protect public lands
© Greg Nash

Democratic White House hopeful Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockSuper PAC seeks to spend more than million supporting Yang The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Private flight spending soars in Democratic presidential race MORE (Mont.) unveiled on Friday a sweeping plan to protect public lands as a way to appeal to rural voters and break out of the primary field’s bottom tier.

“Shared ownership and stewardship of our public lands is a fundamental part of what it means to be an American. As Governor of Montana, Steve has focused on protecting our public lands that are vital to our economy, environment, and wellbeing,” the campaign said in the plan. “As President, Steve will fight to enhance access to our lands and protect them from exploitation.”

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Bullock said he would reverse the Trump administration’s rollback of national monuments, fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which works to safeguard natural areas and water resources, and collaborate with Congress to permit state and local governments to invest resources in restoration efforts, among other things.

The Montana Democrat would also seek to expand access to public lands by boosting the number of free days and ensuring there are no entrance fee raises at National Parks. Bullock would also work with community organizations to launch a marketing campaign to provide further information about National Parks. 

Bullock says his plan would also help combat climate change by, among other things, directing the Departments of Interior and Agriculture to achieve net-zero emissions on public lands by 2030 and incentivizing federal land agencies to develop clean energy projects on public lands.

Bullock has leveraged his campaign’s appeal on the fact that he was able to win in 2016 in a rural state that backed President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE by about 20 points.

He has particularly focused on ginning up support in Iowa, another rural state that will the nation’s first nominating contest next year, but has seen his poll numbers stagnate in the bottom tier of the crowded field.