‘Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act' would protect 79,000 acres of public lands

by Angela Marshall, ABC Fox Montana

Senator Jon Tester on Wednesday proposes legislation to protect 79,000 acres of Montana’s public lands for future generations.

The senator was in Seeley Lake to introduce the ‘Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.’

A decade in the making, Sen. Tester says that the legislation is a collaboration between members of the timber industry, sportsmen and women, ranchers and business owners, who wanted to find solutions to Montana’s land management challenges.

“For the first time in my lifetime, folks with competing interests weren’t competing. They were communicating. They were collaborating.” says Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). “The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act is a perfect example of what Montanans can accomplish when they do get together. It will create jobs. It will strengthen this economy locally.”

In addition to protecting tens of thousands of acres in the upper Blackfoot-Clearwater Valley, federal funds would pay for the development of hiking trails to access the Lolo National Forest, open up 2,200 acres of land to snowmobiling and 3,800 to mountain biking.

Sen. Tester is expected to introduce the legislation on Monday.