Senate committee to hear Blackfoot-Clearwater Wilderness, Recreation Bill

by MTPR, Eric Whitney

A bill that would protect 79,000 acres of wilderness in the Blackfoot and Clearwater watersheds has been scheduled for a Senate committee hearing in two weeks.

A press release from Senator Jon Tester today says his Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act will be heard before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on February 7.

Tester is a Democrat; Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines is a member of that committee.

The bill is the result of compromises between conservationists, Montana’s timber industry and advocates of motorized and non-motorized recreation. Tester says his bill promotes timber harvest, and would open up more than 2,200 acres of public lands to snowmobiling. It also would create opportunities to add mountain bike trails.