On Baucus Pond
April 26th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
9 years ago

On Baucus Pond

(CNN) - There are some pretty powerful elk in Montana.

Writing about his decision to retire after his term is up, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, waxed poetic in a Great Falls Tribune op-ed on the role nature played his thought process.

"This was not an easy decision (to not seek re-election), but the last few months I've felt the calling:It whispered to me among the elk resting in a meadow east of the Bridger Mountains.

I heard it as thousands of snow geese flew over the Rocky Mountain Front.

The pull came up from my soul like the ducks that rose in clouds from the winter wheat fields of Teton County at dusk.

And, I thought I might never go back to Washington when we got stuck in the mud trying to drive through the Castle Mountains a few weeks ago."


Baucus, now in his sixth term, said he spent much of his professional career working to protect the lands in his state, and he looks forward to having more time to enjoy the same nature he fought to keep free.

"I'm not just from a Montana family. I'm from a Montana ranching family. The soil is in my blood. At the end of 2014, it will be time to come home," he wrote in the op-ed published Thursday night.

He assured readers that in the remainder of his term, he doesn't plan on "turning out to pasture" and vowed to keep fighting for legislation to protect certain parts of the state. He promised to throw his full weight into securing "strong highway and farm bills" for Montana. Simplifying the tax code is also on his agenda.

"I look forward to working with you as I continue to serve the state I love for the next year and a half," he wrote. "Thank you. Now let's get to work."

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

Filed under: Max Baucus • Montana • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Glad to see you go Max; long overdue!

    April 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Fair is Fair

    If you've never been to Montana, you're missing one of the most beautiful, pristine areas in the country. It will be my summer residence if Mr. Fair and I ever hit it big.

    April 26, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Fair is Fair:

    Indeed I have and indeed it is. Absolutely breathtaking.
    I wish you and Mr. Fair luck.

    April 26, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. MTATL67

    I know exactly what he means by feeling the pull. I miss hearing the bugling of the elk in the fall.
    He was my Senator for over half my life. Over all he did right by my state and the country.
    Enjoy your retirement Senator and thank you.

    April 26, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Ray E. (Georgia)

    No doubt Montana is a beautiful place. Who was it that said they was going to drain the swamp in Washington? Nancy Pelosi? Well Max it appears they drained the wrong swamp. Too many times politicians make the wrong decision and leave others to pick up the pieces. They say Hell is for Heroes. Now that the Hand Writing is On the Wall, you are leaving huh Max. You are no hero.

    April 26, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If you've never been to Montana, you're missing one of the most beautiful, pristine areas in the country.
    On that you will agree Fair.

    April 26, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. PJ

    Right-- Protect "certain parts of of the State" – "the soil is in my blood" ..."Elk resting" ..."snow geese flying"........
    Except he was give a 20% ranking by the HSLF indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record and
    a 42% ranking by LCV indicating a "mixed" voting record on the environement.
    I think "the calling" was something a little stronger.

    April 26, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I meant to write: "On that you and I will agree Fair".

    April 26, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Willard Mayfield

    He is a liberal hack...Glad to see him go.It will help the Republicans take the Senate...Maybe then we can start to take this Country back!

    April 26, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Alaska is better! At least you can see Russia from Wasalla!

    April 26, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Ferret out the BS

    Don't let the moss grow under your feet sir, enjoy that beautiful land.

    April 26, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. sanity

    blah blah, Yes, that is what Tina Fey, not Sarah Palin, said.

    April 26, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Name lynn

    Well well right is right an wrong is wrong.

    April 26, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Lee

    I thought it was the close Senate race that Tester had to fight this past election that was the cause. A close race might not be Baucus' style. Fear of losing, and wanting to go out on his own terms instead of being humbled by a lose in a red state.

    April 26, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |