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 Leads Bipartisan Push to Recruit and Retain Wildland Firefighters
Senator and colleagues push for long term solutions: better pay, support, and time to recover In his continued effort to support firefighters and increase wildfire protection and preparedness, U.S. Senator Jon Tester led a bipartisan group of Western Senators in...
Tester Secures $26 Million for Montana Public Lands Projects
Senator’s Inflation Reduction Act to fund restoration and resilience activities across Treasure State U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced he has secured $26 million in Bureau of Land Management funding for landscape restoration and resilience projects across Montana. Tester secured the funding...
Tester Bill to Cut Red Tape, Improve Outdoor Recreation Access Clears Key Senate Hurdle
Senator’s Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act Passes Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee As Montana’s champion for improving access to public lands and bolstering the state’s $7.1 billion outdoor economy, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced that his bipartisan Simplifying Outdoor...