STATEMENT OF PEGGY TRENK, ON BEHALF OF HON. RICK HILL,
A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MONTANA

I'd like to read from a letter because Rick wasn't able to attend today, but appreciates the chance to offer a few comments.

First, I'd like to thank Senator Baucus for holding this important hearing. I would also like to thank the witnesses and others gathered here today for their efforts to address this important issue.

The Montana Congressional Delegation has agreed on the value of selling 265 leases on Canyon Ferry. This sale would allow current householders the opportunity for permanent ownership, while paying fair market value to the benefit of the taxpayer.

While we all share the common goal of providing more funding for conservation, I believe it is very important that we also make sure Lewis and Clark and Broadwater Counties have a stronger say in how their backyard will be managed. For this reason, I strongly support using the proceeds of this sale for not only land and water conservation measures, but also for giving these counties the resources to help make long-term recreational improvements on the lake.

I'm confident the Montana Congressional Delegation and all the interested parties will come together to resolve the issue of what the sale of the leases will benefit. Be assured that legislation I have introduced in the House of Representatives on this matter will be one of my highest priorities in the remainder of this Congress. This hearing will assuredly help move us forward for the benefit of all Montanans.

Again, thank you, Senator Baucus, for your efforts here today.