Rikki Held’s last name has been referenced in legal briefs, news articles and water cooler conversations for two years now, since the court case Held v. State of Montana was filed in Montana’s First Judicial District Court. Held was one of 16 youth plaintiffs who filed the 2020 lawsuit against several Montana government agencies, and its governor, alleging that the implementation of two energy-related policies is an infringement of the youths’ constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. Since she was the only plaintiff of age when it was filed, it’s her name that will be forever attached to the decision made in the landmark case.
Held was brought to the legal table by a meandering path that runs through the heart of her family’s ranch. Held grew up on a 7,000-acre cattle ranch and saw the destruction of the land and her family’s livelihood caused by the changing climate — an experience she feels can be understood by the rural state’s ranching and farming communities.
“I think that ranchers see it in a different way, ranchers are on the ground every ... Read more