Montana Democrats form group to promote hunter access

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Demos promote access to hunting .

Billings Gazette State Bureau.

HELENA – Montana Democrats are forming a group to publicize what Chairman Bob Ream called their long support for public access for outdoor recreation and to counter misleading claims from Republican allies that Democrats are anti-hunting or anti-gun.

Ream on Thursday appointed Mick McGuire of Three Forks as chairman of the party’s Hunter and Outdoor Sports Roundtable.

McGuire, who got his hunting license at age 12, is a member of the Public Land Access Association and the Montana State Houndsmen Association. He has been an officer for 28 years of Boilermakers Local 239, which represents workers at the Three Forks talc plant and the Trident cement plant, and president of the union for the last 15 years.

Roundtable participants will help plan possible community events, fliers and other means of conveying the Democratic Party’s positions on hunting and outdoor sports. It also will help party leaders develop other ways to reach the thousands of Montana who enjoy hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation on Montana’s public lands.

“Mick is passionate about protecting the average Montanan’s access to public lands and will be a great asset in articulating the already-strong Democratic Party message on hunter and angler rights and access matters,” Ream said.

The party chairman said the Democrats’ latest party platform language states the party’s views on the subject plainly.

It says: “We support the right to bear and keep arms. We support increased efforts to keep guns out of the hands of our children and out of our schools... . The Montana Democratic Party affirms Montanans’ right to participate in hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation on our public lands as part of our state’s heritage. We believe that maintaining access to public lands is an important part of maintaining our tradition.”

Ream said Democrats look forward to taking this message to Montanans regularly to counter misstatements by groups allied with the Republican Party who have said Democrats are anti-gun or anti-hunting.

He said the state party will establish several other roundtables to link key segments of the party with leaders and policy-makers. Other roundtables in the works are: rural Montana and agriculture; small businesses; working families; local government; young Democrats; and conservationists. Those wishing to participate may call Ream at party headquarters, 406-442-9520.
 
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