Tester, Baucus secure more than $28 million for Montana water and land
Bill will improve public access, protect fish and wildlife, fund Tester’s Wolf Kill Bill
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana will receive more than $28 million thanks to a funding bill passed today by Senator Jon Tester and his colleagues on the influential Senate Appropriations Committee.
“This is an investment in Montana’s clean water, our fish and wildlife habitat, and access to our public land,” said Tester, who secured Montana’s funding in the Interior Appropriations Bill. “These are smart, worthwhile projects that are important to Montana, the people who live here, and to future generations. That’s why I’ll support these projects every step of the way.”
“This is great news for Montana that will create good-paying jobs and protect our outdoor heritage,” said Senator Max Baucus, who worked closely with Tester in securing Montana’s funding. “Montana always comes first, which is why I fought so hard for these projects. This is an example of working together to do what’s right for the Treasure State.”
Montana will receive $28,157,000 in the Interior Appropriations Bill, including:
- More than $8.5 million to create jobs by renovating the historic Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park.
- $8.4 million to protect clean water, fish and wildlife habitat along the prized Blackfoot River.
- Nearly $4 million to protect land along the Rocky Mountain Front.
- $1.5 million to upgrade wastewater and drinking water facilities in Bozeman, Butte, Missoula and Crow Agency.
Tester included in the bill $1 million to fund his bipartisan Wolf Kill Bill for the coming year. The Wolf Kill Bill repays ranchers who lose livestock to wolves. It also improves methods for keeping wolves away from animals.
Tester also included language directing the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to identify long-term health risks and coordinate cleanup activities in Libby. Last week, after years of work by both Baucus and Tester, the EPA determined that a Public Health Emergency from asbestos contamination exists in Libby. That means the community will receive additional money for cleanup and health care.
Tester serves on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. The Interior Appropriations Bill passed today is one of 12 appropriations bills that will fund the federal government for the next fiscal year. The bill now goes to the full Senate for approval. It must then be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law by the President.
Below is a list of Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus in the Senate Interior Appropriations Bill:
Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus
Senate Interior Appropriations Bill
MONTANA TOTAL: $28,157,000
Glacier National Park: $8,507,000 to create jobs by renovating the historic Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park. This ambitious project will create numerous jobs in Montana by remodeling and upgrading the hotel, which was completed in 1916.
Blackfoot River: $8.4 million to protect hunting and fishing habitat along Montana’s famous Blackfoot River Valley:
- $4.5 million for the Bureau of Land Management to purchase more than 4,400 acres in the Blackfoot River Special Recreation Management Area in the Garnet Mountains, which will improve access to land.
- $2.9 million to purchase conservation easements on nearly 10,000 acres of land along the Blackfoot River. Conservation easements guarantee that land will be not be developed in order to protect Montana’s agricultural land, clean water and world-class fishing and hunting habitat.
- $1 million to purchase wildlife habitat in the Nora Gulch area of Powell County.
Rocky Mountain Front: $3.75 million to purchase conservation easements from landowners who own land along the Rocky Mountain Front.
Gallatin National Forest: $2 million for the Gallatin National Forest to purchase abandoned mine sites near Cooke City and Yellowstone National Park. This funding is twice the amount requested in President Obama’s budget proposal.
Lewis and Clark National Forest: $2 million for the Forest to purchase 8,200 acres along Tenderfoot Creek in central Montana. This purchase of critical wildlife habitat will also improve fishing access along the famous Smith River.
Water upgrades: $1.5 million to improve drinking water and wastewater systems in four communities.
- City of Bozeman: $500,000 to help the city build a new wastewater treatment plant and improve water quality in the East Gallatin River.
- City of Butte: $500,000 to help replace the Big Hole River diversion dam that supplies 70 percent of the community’s drinking water.
- Crow Tribe: $300,000 to help the Crow Tribe replace its wastewater lagoon.
- City of Missoula: $200,000 to help upgrade Missoula’s wastewater system.
Carbon County: $1.5 million for the Bureau of Land Management to purchase wildlife habitat and increase public access to Meeteetse Spires, a unique geological formation in south-central Montana.
Southwest Montana: $500,000 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase land near the Red Rock Lake National Wildlife Refuge.