Tester: New investment in Glacier will strengthen Flathead’s economy

(MISSOULA, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the National Park Service announced that it purchased the Harrison Creek tract – also known as the Doody Homestead – to expand access to Glacier National Park:

“This transaction makes one of Montana's most treasured places whole by securing better access to public land and water.  This is a smart investment in the future of Glacier National Park and our outdoor heritage, and it will pay dividends for generations to come.  I'll keep working to improve access to Montana's public places and to protect the history that shaped them.”

Tester, the Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, pushed the Interior Department to use existing funds to acquire the property along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.  The area, which is the second-largest private in-holding left in Glacier National Park, is home to numerous trails that connect to the park. 

“We're delighted the Doody Homestead will be protected by the National Park Service,” said Cris Coughlin, owner of the Montana Raft Company and Glacier Guides.  “It's such an important piece of history.  The economic benefit of this decision is significant – keeping folks in the area longer and ready to invest in the region.  Everyone benefits from this decision.”

Glacier National Park supports businesses across the Flathead.  In 2010, more than two million people visited the park and spent nearly $110 million locally.  Montana’s outdoor industry contributes over $2.5 billion to Montana’s economy each year.

Funding for the investment came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which facilitates transactions between a willing seller and a willing buyer.  Tester is a supporter of LWCF, whose revenue comes from offshore oil leases – not taxes.  The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee recently slashed funding for LWCF by 75 percent.