Public Lands

Jon knows that in Montana outdoor recreation is more than a hobby—it’s a way of life. Because Montana boasts some of the most beautiful views of National Parks, rivers, streams, and wildlife the country has to offer, Montanans know how important it is to protect public lands.

Outdoor recreation is one of Montana’s biggest and fastest growing industries. In fact, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping generate more than $7 billion and sustain 71,000 jobs across the state each year. They sustain us beyond economics by giving Montanans a place to recharge and connect with the place we call home.

Jon is fighting to keep public lands in public hands. In January 2019, Jon’s bill to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was signed into law. Funded through offshore oil and gas development revenue, LWCF has invested more than $540 million to support Montana’s outdoor economy since 1965—all without costing the taxpayers a dime. Jon continues pushing to ensure that LWCF is fully, permanently funded for generations to come.

In a collaborative effort between Montana ranchers, loggers, mountain bikers, snowmobilers, and business owners, Jon also crafted and introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. This made-in-Montana bill protects thousands of acres of public land, ensures future generations can access outdoor recreational opportunities, and strengthens Montana’s outdoor economy. The bill received a hearing last Congress and continues to pick up momentum.

Jon passed the first collaborative wilderness bill in three decades, working with conservation, ranchers, and recreationists in the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act. He also protected the North Fork of the Flathead from oil and gas development, preserving two important parts of Montana.

Jon is working hard to protect Montana’s iconic landscapes for future generations. His bipartisan Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act was signed into law, protecting the doorstep of the nation’s first National Park and 30,000 acres of public land from industrial mining. And he’s deeply concerned with increasingly intense wildfires across the west, which is why he secured $3.37 billion for wildfire mitigation in his bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act.

Tester Pushes for Action on Montana Headwaters Legacy Act After Senate Hearing
Senator’s legislation would protect 384 miles of Montana rivers As part of his continued push to protect Montana’s land and waters for future generations, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged his colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee...
Tester Secures More Than $9.8 Million for Wildfire Mitigation in Kootenai National Forest
Funding comes from his bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act As a direct result of his bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $9,846,884 for wildfire mitigation in the Kootenai National Forest, including...
Tester Reintroduces Montana Headwaters Legacy Act to Protect 384 Miles of Montana Rivers
Senator’s bill designates stretches of the Gallatin, Madison, and Smith Rivers as “wild and scenic” to protect for future generations As part of his continued work to protect Montana’s public lands, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today re-introduced his Montana Headwaters...