Articles and editorials about the threat to public access are springing up in outdoor and conservation magazines with regularity now (“Westerners need to stand up for public lands,” HCN, 4/27/15). Americans are beginning to get it: The threat is real. Do we want the European model, where private ownership of the woods and waters prevails, or do we want the freedom to roam our federal lands? I fear that people will sit idly by while federal land is transferred to the states and then sold to private individuals and corporations when state coffers run dry.

The 51 Republican senators that writer Todd Tanner cites in his article ought to reap what they sow — total rebellion by the outdoor community. And that’s what they’ll get if we organize. There’s no other way. Join an organization that stands up for public lands — like the Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited, the Elk Foundation, The Nature Conservancy or the group that I belong to, the Public Land/Water Association. We recently won a lawsuit in the Montana Supreme Court against a billionaire whose attorney claimed, in court, that his client owned the banks, riverbed and water of the Ruby River, along with the air above it. How high in that air one can only imagine.    

George Alotrico
McLeod, Montana

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