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Changes Made Before the Bill's Introduction

As a result of meetings with Montanans before he introduced the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, Sen. Tester made the following changes to the proposal put forth by the Beaverhead/Deerlodge Partnership. They are part of the bill Sen. Tester introduced on July 17, 2009.

Timber Eligibility

  • Sen. Tester did not use the Partnership's proposed timber harvest areas. Instead his legislation directs timber harvest to happen where the Forest Plan allows it.
    This change was made at the request of the Wilderness Society, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Sierra Club, Wildlands CPR.

BLM Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs)

  • Unlike the Partnership's plan, which only considered Forest Service lands, Sen. Tester's bill releases seven Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Study Areas to multiple use, while designating five BLM Wilderness Study Areas as wilderness.
    The release of WSAs was made at the request of Madison County, Beaverhead County, Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

Wilderness/Recreation Changes

  • Big Hole
    Reduced wilderness acreage by 49,459 acres
    Created National Recreation Area
    At request of/to benefit: Beaverhead County Commissioners, motorized users.
  • East Pioneers
    Reduced acreage by 14,000 acres, using Forest Service recommended boundary instead of partnership's boundary
    Adjusted boundaries to put trails outside wilderness boundary
    At request of: Montana Mining Association, Beaverhead County, Highlands Cycling Club, Benny Finnicum
  • West Pioneers
    Changed wilderness boundaries and reduced acreage by 8,394 acres
    Created Recreation Management Area
    At request of/to benefit: motorized users, Beaverhead County
  • Sapphires
    Moved trail number 313 outside wilderness boundary, keeping approximately 40 miles of trail open for bicyclists
    At request of: Hamilton bike store owner, Montana Mountain Bike Alliance
  • Snowcrest Wilderness Area
    Added language to allow continued motorized access for ranchers to water infrastructure
    To benefit: Snowcrest Grazing Association
  • Thunderbolt Protection Area
    Creates area to manage for snowmobiles in winter and bicycles in summer on the south side of Electric Peak
    At suggestion of Montana Wilderness Association after their negotiations with bicyclists.
Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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