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Our staff at Shine works hard and plays hard, and it’s painful to see them and our community suffering as a consequence of COVID-19. For their sake, and for the sake of businesses and workers across Montana, the House needs to act now to pass the Great American Outdoors Act. In Gallatin Valley (and across Montana) our public lands are one of our major competitive advantages, keeping our quality of life high, motivating talented individuals to live and work here, attracting visitors from around the world, creating and sustaining jobs, and keeping local economies buzzing.

Our core values at Shine are building vibrant relationships and growing people. We depend on a healthy, educated, engaged and passionate staff, and we always encourage staff to take advantage of the wonderful outdoor resources that we have in our backyard. We depend on the region's best craft brewers, many of whom are drawn to start their businesses here because of the outdoor quality of life. We depend on customers that are active outdoor enthusiasts - people stopping in for a beer and a burrito after a bike ride, a hike, or a day on the slopes or the river are the cornerstones of our business.

If we don’t have amazing public lands to draw people in and keep them coming back, our future will look very different.

Passing the Great American Outdoors Act would finally secure full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It would address maintenance backlogs in national parks like Yellowstone and Glacier. It would keep our economy humming, our people happy and healthy, and our visitors coming back. For our businesses and our people, it’s time for the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass GAOA.

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Pete Strom