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 Secures $500,000 to Protect Access to Land in Musselshell County
Funding will preserve and protect land for recreational access U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he has secured $500,000 for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to open access to 2,680 acres of public land in the Stanley Creek Parcel in...
Tester Secures $1 Million to Protect the Blackfoot River Watershed
Funding will preserve and protect land for recreational access U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he has secured $1,000,000 to preserve and protect the Blackfoot River Watershed and open access to the land for recreational use, including for snowmobiling, cross country...
Building on Tester’s Bill, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Receives Permanent Protection as Public Lands
This project was made possible through the Senator’s Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act U.S. Senator Jon Tester today celebrated the completion of the second phase of the Absaroka-Beartooth Gateway acquisition project by Custer Gallatin National Forest, in partnership with the Greater...