Tester outlines priorities for better forest management

Senator: ‘frustration’ proves collaboration is needed to improve health of nation’s forests

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester is outlining his priorities to better manage Montana’s forests and increase greater recreation opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen.

Tester wants the Senate to focus on management plans that “increase forest restoration, support local communities, improve recreational opportunities and conserve habitat.”

“The best path forward will include, at a minimum, more active forest management, increased recreational opportunities and conservation designations,” said Tester, in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “We cannot ignore the growing frustration with the current state of our National Forests, and it would be unwise to think a one-sided approach will gain the necessary bipartisan support to be an effective legislative approach.”

Tester wants the Senate to go further to:
• Develop on-the-ground collaborative management plans
• Increase conservation efforts that include wild and scenic river and wilderness designations
• Safeguard the intent of long-established environmental laws
• Allow public involvement in forest management

Tester this week urged President Obama to ensure that all federal agencies are well prepared to keep Montana and the West safe this fire season. Tester earlier this year led the Montana delegation in supporting legislation to free up resources for forest management activities that reduce fire risk.

Tester also continues to gather input from Montanans on the ground about his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act in an effort to strengthen the bill.

Tester’s letter is available online HERE.