‘Historic’ Montana Lands Package to Advance

Flathead Beacon

by Tristan Scott

Montana’s congressional leaders on Wednesday introduced a suite of major public lands bills they expect Congress to approve, including the North Fork Watershed Protection Act and the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, which would designate new sections of wilderness in the state for the first time in three decades.

The Montana bills are part of a broad collection of national bills and land proposals attached to a must-pass defense reauthorization bill, and the entire congressional delegation expressed confidence that both the House and Senate would take quick action to approve the package.

Current and former members of Montana’s congressional delegation have been working on some of the bills for months and even decades, and recently ramped up negotiations in an effort to spur the legislation forward before the lame-duck session expires.

Democrat U.S. Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh and Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, who last month was elected to replace Walsh in the Senate, held a joint news conference in which they hailed the lands package as historic for its importance to Montana.

Read more: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2014/12/03/north-fork-protection-act-rocky-mountain-front-bills-advance/