HD 100 Democratic Primary Candidate Gary Brown Speaks for Himself

a guestpost by Gary Brown

Gary’s graciously given us a guestpost ~~Jason Wiener

Democrats in HD 100 have two options in the primary. I, Gary Brown, bring progressive social policy and hard-headed conservation positions formed by decades of service to the state and nation, both in the armed forces and managing Montana’s bountiful natural resources–commitments demonstrated by endorsements of my candidacy from NARAL Pro-Choice Montana and Montana Conservation Voters.

I discovered Missoula while attending the University of Montana, Missoula, where I received a Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1960 and completed Administrative Leadership Training. I also served four years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. After 20 years as a forester for the state of Montana, Gary (Garth) Moon, State Land Commissioner, and Governor Ted Schwinden appointed me as Montana’s State Forester (Chief Executive Officer) in 1981.

The State Forester’s position was directly responsible for planning and directing the development, use, protection, and conservation of the State’s forest and non-forest watershed resources. Products and services were provided statewide, and received by forest industry, forest and range landowners, government agencies (federal, state and local), and a large segment of the general public. The primary mission of this State Forestry organization is to provide revenues to the educational Trust Funds of Montana in perpetuity.

I retired from public office in 1992 after 31 years as a forester for the State of Montana, 11 years as its State Forester. My other public service has included a stint as chair of the Montana Association of Churches (MAC) Commission on Church and Society and a two-year term on MAC’s board of directors. I was also president of the National Museum of Forest Service History for 14 years and still participate as a member of the board of directors and as its treasurer.

Observing the Montana House of Representatives during the 2007 session was frustrating. I pledge to do everything within my power to bring a spirit of civility and constructive bipartisan engagement to this campaign and the up-coming legislative session.

I will work to make our state a better place for our kids to grow up, for working parents to support their families, and for elders to age with dignity. I will advance the progressive spirit at the state level, where so many decisions are made that affect our neighborhoods. I can be an effective champion on such issues such as health care, quality education, livable communities, concern for the environment, and social justice.

But my particular passion lies with addressing the threat of global warming. Here in Montana, across the country and around the world, our focus should now be to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Montana must do its part.

The Constitution of the State of Montana guarantees inalienable rights. These rights include the right to a clean and healthy environment and the right to pursue life’s basic necessities. With your vote and your trust, I can protect these rights during the next two years.


  1. Jim Lang

    In the Missoulaian, you list streamside setbacks as one of your top priorities. Yet planning for countywide streamside setbacks seemed to provoke somewhat of a knee-jerk negative reaction. Are you proposing statewide streamside setbacks? And how do you plan on selling this to those streamside landowners who see this as a ‘taking’?

  2. In my view, water is Montana’s most important product. The water falling in the form of rain and snow on Montana belongs to the people of Montana. The condition of our waters is an indicator of the condition of our environment and our stewardship of the land. Why is it only the land management agencies, federal, state and local, which must provide streamside management zones to protect our waters? To ask private landowners to do the same is reasonable. Why should private landowners considered providing streamside setbacks a “taking”, when they too have a moral responsibility to protect our waters for the common good? In the long run streamside setbacks are good for the protection of the waters, for the conscience and overall economy.

  3. goof houlihan

    “Why should private landowners considered providing streamside setbacks a “taking”, when they too have a moral responsibility to protect our waters for the common good?”

    Is that a rhetorical question, or did you want an answer?

    Protecting the property rights and other rights of individuals is the best way to look after the “common good”. Governments exist to protect the rights of individuals, or at least so we profess to believe here in America. Protecting the choices of women, something you profess to support, is protecting an inherently lockean property right.

    Of course forcing people, at the point of a gun, to donate their land to the “common good” without compensation is a “taking”, just as forcing a woman to give birth against her will is slavery.

    Now, if there are significant health and safety issues, septic to groundwater to stream pollution or flood danger, then perhaps you’ve got an argument. But what you’ve written there, with your vague “moral” imperative, is simply collectivism run amok.

  4. Streamside setbacks would be a good thing, but they’ve got to come locally. There is absolutely no hope that those would be done in the legislature, and, frankly, they shouldn’t be…we can’t have statewide standards on streams that face different geographical restraints simply because this state and its soils and vegetation and precipitation vary so widely.

  1. 1 Primary election preview « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] the Rosie Buzzas/Ron Erickson Senate District 47 race, the House District 100 primary between Gary Brown and Willis Curdy, and a couple of races where sitting legislators are being challenged (incumbent […]

  2. 2 Left in the West Launches Regional Fundraising Challenge for State House Races « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] set his sights on ridding us of gravel pit loving Bill Nooney (HD-100) with his support of Gary Brown and he’s also got the back of one of my favorites, Jill Cohenour (HD-78), who isn’t […]




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