This West Is OUR West

Announcing Recommendations for Montana's Climate Future

September 11, 2020

Dear Friends: 

I’m pleased to write to share with you the Montana Climate Solutions Plan—the product of a year of deliberations and dialogue among a diverse group of Montanans. The Plan outlines strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare the state for climate impacts, foster innovation across Montana’s economy, and address the needs of communities in transition through appropriate economic development and workforce strategies.

The recommendations reflect strong alignment in many areas across a diverse group of Council members, while also highlighting key points of disagreement that can inform future deliberations. The final plan spans over 50 recommendations, 40 of which were advanced with the consensus support of the council as a whole.

Montanans across the state believe climate change is a significant problem posing risks to the future of Montana and to future generations. As the Council’s work demonstrates, there is an impressive array of opportunities and recommendations that represent a broad-based consensus and can serve as a foundation for bipartisan climate action.

I want to thank the members of the Council for their dedication and thoughtful deliberations as well as the many staff who lent their time and talents to supporting the Council’s work. I also want to acknowledge the contributions from Montanans across the state who participated in Council meetings and webinars and shared their perspectives through formal public comments – each of which helped to strengthen our partnerships and recommendations for moving forward.

With issuance of the report this week, I’m inviting all Montanans to participate in this discussion and to look for ways they can advance these recommendations through their own work and involvement in their communities. Please see a collection of early statements supporting this work below.

Sincerely,

STEVE BULLOCK
Governor

“We are glad to see that Governor Bullock has worked with Montanans to create a meaningful plan to help ensure our children and grandchildren can inherit a healthy climate. The impacts from climate change are being felt right now in our agricultural communities. One of our ranching members is dealing with the loss of a family homestead due to the recent wildfires. Another farming member just lost all of his family's lentil crops and their spring wheat due to a massive storm in eastern Montana. As farmers and ranchers, we've always dealt with changing and unpredictable weather, but these incidents are becoming more frequent and more severe due to climate change. We must act now. We appreciate Governor Bullock's leadership in creating a thoughtful, practical path that can provide true prosperity for generations to come,” said Jeanie Alderson, Northern Plains Resource Council

“As a rancher who has been using regenerative grazing to improve our soil health, I am pleased to see the Climate Solutions Council prioritize soil health in its recommendations. My wife, Jenny, and I sell all of the 270 lambs we produce annually to Montana restaurants, grocery stores, and families. We have found that not only do regenerative grazing practices save us input costs in N fertilization and irrigation, they also have allowed us to grow nutrient dense lamb that our customers recognize by its wonderful taste. We are pleased to contribute to a resilient local food system,” said Dave Scott, rancher, Montana

“Montana’s outdoor recreation generates $7.1 billion dollars in consumer spending annually and provides 71,000 jobs. Hunters and anglers understand the importance of addressing climate change to protect our state’s economy, our jobs and our abundant fish and wildlife populations. We applaud the work of the Climate Solutions Council for providing a roadmap to help reduce the impacts of climate change on Montana's communities and landscape,” said Frank Szollosi, executive director, Montana Wildlife Federation

“As a local solar energy contractor, we were happy to see the Governor take initiative on a statewide climate plan when he established the Climate Solutions Council last summer. By bringing a diverse set of expertise to the table, the council has produced a variety of actionable goals that we believe will benefit Montana environmentally and economically. The critical next step is seeing the hard work that’s been done over the past year get put to use; the groundwork has been laid and we are long since out of time for inaction,” said Orion Thornton, co-owner OnSight Energy

“The Montana Climate Solutions Plan is an incredible first step to addressing one of the greatest existential threats to our future - climate change. In our thousands of conversations with young Montanans, climate change always rises to the top as a deep issue of concern because it touches on so many aspects of our lives. We're already witnessing and experiencing the devastating effects of a changing climate and it's clear that we need action now. This plan presents a great vision for a more just and sustainable future and we look forward to supporting and facilitating its implementation,” said Amara Reese-Hansell, program director of Forward Montana

“We appreciate Governor Bullock understanding that the health of our climate doesn't give a lick about partisan politics, which is why his bipartisan Climate Solutions Council is such an important effort to protect the future of Montana and its communities. Montana Conservation Voters looks forward to working with the Council to implement this important plan for cleaner air, cleaner water, strong agriculture, healthy and accessible public lands, and the countless jobs that rely on all of it,” said Aaron Murphy, executive director of Montana Conservation Voters

“Public lands hunters and anglers have an intimate connection with our lands and waters and often are the first to see changes brought about by shifting climate patterns. The Montana chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers appreciates Governor Bullock’s leadership in proactively addressing this pressing issue. We look forward to engaging in collaborative efforts to develop and implement strategies to ensure that our fish and wildlife, lands and waters, and outdoor pursuits can adapt to climate changes, both those already underway and yet to come,” said John Gale, conservation director of Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers