Tester Successfully Pushes Obama Administration to Restore Cuts to Montana Trails

One week after Senator drills Forest Service Chief, agency restores nearly all funds for trail maintenance

(U.S. Senate)-One week after drilling the Obama Administration on failing to prioritize trail maintenance in Montana, Senator Jon Tester today announced that the U.S. Forest Service will not move forward with its plan to cut nearly $1 million from Montana’s trails budget this year.

“Montanans use public trails to hike, hunt, and experience our great outdoors,” Tester said. “These trails are critically important to our outdoor economy, and restoring these damaging cuts will allow folks to continue to explore Big Sky Country. I appreciate the Forest Service taking another look at how important this is to Montana.”

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration released its Fiscal Year 2017 budget that included a 10 percent cut to Forest Service’s Region 1 trail maintenance, which funds trail maintenance in Montana. Before Tester intervened, the Forest Service had planned to start cutting Region 1’s budget this year.

Last week during a Senate committee hearing, Tester questioned Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and demanded that the Obama Administration restore the cuts to Montana’s trails. Tester quickly followed up with a letter to the Chief demanding that he explain how the agency came to that decision.

As a result, Tidwell agreed to reconsider the formulas used to determine funding for trail maintenance for each Region, leading to today’s announcement.