State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Candidate Troy Downing appeared on the KGVO Talk Back program on Monday, and stressed the importance of that office holder having a spot on the State Land Board.

‘People draw these extreme lines in the sand,” said Downing. “You can draw a line in the sand saying I want to preserve all things natural and put a glass bubble around it and make sure no humans ever touch it. There’s another thing about supporting families that work the land, use the land and depend on the land to put food on their table.”

Downing said he is a strong proponent of multiple uses for Montana’s state lands.

“To me, multiple use means multiple use,” he said. “Yes, we have to protect. We have to decide what makes sense to preserve. We need to look at public access, recreational use, where we need to look at preserving natural states. However, we must also look and see where it makes sense to graze, where does it make sense to harvest timber or extract minerals, to mine, to drill.”

Downing then clarified his stance on state lands as they pertain to the State land Board.

“Yes, we want to preserve,” he said. “Yes, we want to make sure that it’s there for our kids, our grandkids and our great grandkids. We want to preserve sportsmen’s access, recreational access; we want to do all these things. Let’s have a conversation about what’s in the middle. Let’s make sure that we’re paying attention to that second part of sustained yield and make sure we’re being true stewards and that we’re not depleting that valuable resource and that we have it for generations to come.”

Monies from the State Land Board decisions help to fund Montana’s public schools.