Salazar to Tester: No plans for national monuments in Montana

Senator also questions Interior chief on false rumors of land purchases near Missouri River Breaks

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – There are no plans to create any national monuments in Montana, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar confirmed to Senator Jon Tester today.

Salazar also confirmed that there are no plans for the government to pursue land purchases along the Missouri River Breaks.

Tester questioned Salazar during a Senate hearing, asking about a recently leaked Interior Department memo which listed possible ideas for monument designations.

Tester directly questioned whether the Administration has any plans to designate a national monument in northeastern Montana.

“There are no plans that we have to move forward,” Salazar responded, adding that there have been “no directions from the White House that we move forward on monument designation.”

Salazar also repeated to Tester his commitment to seek local public input on any decisions regarding public lands.

“If there’s any sort of activity like that going on,” Tester asked, “public input on the ground would be sought out by your Department?”

“Absolutely,” Salazar responded.

Tester told Salazar some Montanans are “fired up” by false rumors of the Interior Department planning to purchase land from willing sellers along the Missouri River Breaks.

“Do you know if this is something that’s real or is this something that is not real?” Tester asked.

“I am not aware that there is any such plan,” Salazar responded, adding the best way to manage public lands is for members of Congress to pursue legislation based on ideas from local communities. “That’s what we intend to do.”

Video of the exchange between Tester and Salazar is available online HERE.