Billings Gazette: Letter to the editor: Tester championed millions in disaster relief
As we near the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic flooding of June 2022, we need to recognize the efforts of Sen. Jon Tester, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee for championing millions in disaster relief money at the federal level to assist in the recovery efforts. In addition to assisting towns, homes, and farmers and ranchers, some of this critical funding is allocated to the Custer Gallatin National Forest and will restore and repair flood damage in the Beartooth Mountains. Montanans and tourists who come from all over owe him a big thank you for his efforts.
The Beartooths are one of the most popular recreation areas in the state. According to the District Ranger, a recent visitor survey showed more than 3 million visitors annually, the most visited national forest in Region 1 (Montana, Northern Idaho, Western Dakotas). Next closest forest was the Flathead with 1.5 million. Many of us that enjoy it were cut off to our favorite spots last year. The federal funding will repair and restore roads, trailheads, campgrounds, picnic areas, trail bridges, toilets, and damaged watersheds. It won’t be long before we can again enjoy them again.
Thanks to Sen. Tester and his staff and the Custer Gallatin National Forest folks for recognizing the importance of this area and working hard so that we can look forward to returning to our favorite places in the Beartooths.