This is a huge day for us at Mission: Montana—thanks to three sponsor pledges to our Kickstarter campaign for The Durfees—our film about a controversial public land battle in central Montana—we are now just $44 shy of our $12,000 funding goal. We are blown away by the level of support we've received over the past two and a half weeks since we launched the campaign, from people we know and admire and from many people we've never met. We've gotten pledges from almost eighty people so far, and we can't wait to get this film into production and to start planning screening events, where we hope we'll be able to tap into that same network to ensure high attendance at screenings and to make sure The Durfees contributes powerfully to a necessary conversation about the future of public land in the west.
On that note, there was big news out of the Governor's office today, too: Governor Bullock announced that he "directed the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to hire a public access specialist in an attempt to get anglers, hunters and other recreationists on to the state’s nearly 2 million acres of inaccessible public property." This is a huge deal, and it's guaranteed to trigger a shitstorm in Helena, and cries of protest from those who enjoy the fact that corner crossing is against the law, and that they have exclusive access to BLM, National Forest, & state school trust land within their private holdings. Given that Mission: Montana is currently producing a film about one of the state's most serious public land battles—in which the billionaire Wilks brothers are trying to obtain several thousand acres of prime elk hunting ground in the Durfee Hills in exchange for land in the Missouri Breaks where there is already public access—we think this is a really major step on the part of the Governor, especially since his opponent in the fall election is Greg Gianforte, who sued the state of Montana in 2009 over a public access point that abutted his land in the Cherry Creek section of East Gallatin River. If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does.