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Hold Our Ground

Hold Our Ground

The Upper Missouri River Breaks hasn't changed in more than 200 years. If special, out-of-state interests have their way, the Breaks will never be the same again.

It’s time to hold our ground in defense of Montana’s heritage.

Photo by Entropy Images

Take Action

Montanans spent decades working together to protect the Upper Missouri River Breaks. Now, an order signed by President Trump threatens to undo that monumental effort. This order undermines our cultural heritage, jeopardizes our world-class hunting and outdoor recreation access, and imperils the economies of local communities.

Thanks to you and thousands of other Montanans that supported the Breaks, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke suggested he would not recommend any changes to the Monument.

But he has yet to formally make that recommendation.

Both Senator Tester and Governor Bullock recently asked Sec. Zinke to leave the Breaks alone. Now it's more important than ever for Senator Steve Daines and Congress Greg Gianforte to do the same.

Call 855-297-9453 and urge Sen. Daines and Rep. Gianfore to recommend no changes to the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument.

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Photo by Tony Bynum

What's at Stake

In April 2017 President Trump signed an executive order instructing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review dozens of national monuments with an eye towards either shrinking the monuments or eliminating them altogether. The Upper Missouri River Breaks is subject to this review.

Monument protection of the Breaks ensures that future generations will enjoy the same opportunity we now have to experience some of the best big game hunting in the world; to view tipi rings, rock art, and other artifacts that go back thousands of years; and to camp and hike in the same riverside spots that Lewis and Clark did in 1802. That protection could, however, come to an end if monument designation is stripped from this landscape.

The Antiquities Act, the tool used to protect the Upper Missouri River Breaks and Pompeys Pillar, is also at risk. Some lawmakers, including Montana Senator Steve Daines, have already sponsored legislation to gut this 1906 law.

A central pillar of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy, the Antiquities Act gives U.S. presidents the authority to designate monuments – that is, to set aside and safeguard public lands with outstanding natural, cultural, historical, and scientific value to the people of this country. Over the past 110 years, 16 presidents – eight Democrats and eight Republicans – have used the Antiquities Act to designate 157 national monuments.

Videos

 

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Our Shared Inheritance Educator and Crow tribal member Shane Doyle reflects on the cultural significance of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
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History is about Place Lewis and Clark historian Larry Epstein looks back on how much the Missouri Breaks and its history have shaped his life
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A Huge Part of My Life Owner of Missouri River Outfitters, Nicole Fugere discusses what the Missouri Breaks Monument means for her livelihood

Videos by Eric Ian

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Our Ground

Certain places in Montana, especially our national monuments, tell us who we are, where we come from, and whom we might become – as Native Americans, as European Americans, as Montanans.

Montana is home to three national monuments – the Upper Missouri River Breaks, Pompeys Pillar, and the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Each of these places evokes a crucial part of Montana and America’s history, culture, and outdoor heritage. Seventy-seven percent of Montanans support existing national monuments, according to a 2017 Colorado College poll.

No less than our history, our culture, and our heritage are under attack by private interests hell bent on taking away our national monuments and gutting the Antiquities Act, the tool for creating monuments and a central pillar of our America's public lands legacy.

Defending our past for the sake of our future, Hold Our Ground is a community of Montanans standing up for the places that define us as a people.

Photo by Tony Bynum

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Larry Epstein

A descendent of Montana homesteaders and native of Cut Bank, Larry served as the Glacier County attorney and deputy attorney for 33 years and is former president of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. In the 1960s his Boy Scout troop discovered the site of a skirmish between Meriwether Lewis and a group of Blackfeet and documented Lewis and Clark campsites in the Missouri River Breaks. He and his wife Callie live in Essex and Helena.

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Shane Doyle, EdD

A Crow tribal member, Shane grew up along the outskirts of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Crow Agency, Montana. A 17-year teacher in public schools, he has served as an education consultant – for PBS, the History Channel, and the National Park Service, among others – on numerous projects involving Native American history and culture. He, his wife Megkian, and five children live in Bozeman.

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Nicolle Fugere

A Billings native and a former school teacher, Nicole is the owner of Missouri River Outfitters in Fort Benton, the longest-running river outfitter in the Missouri Breaks. She has been rafting and guiding on the Missouri through the monument for the last ten years.

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Hilary Hutcheson

A world-renowned fly fisherwoman, Hilary grew up in and around Glacier National Park. She is the host of Trout TV. She owns Lary’s Fly and Supply in Columbia Falls and has worked as a fly-fishing guide on the forks of the Flathead River since she was a teenager. She and her two daughters live in Columbia Falls.

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“More than just scenery, national monuments are also historic and often sacred places that tell the story of who we are and where we came from.”
Shane Doyle
Educator and Crow tribal member at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
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Press

 

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Contact Us

If you’d like to get in touch with someone at Hold Our Ground, please email holdourground@gmail.com.

Photo by Entropy Images