At Last Best Outdoors Fest, Tester Announces New Public Lands Legislation

Senator Hosts First Ever Celebration of Montana’s Outdoor Economy and Jobs

(Columbia Falls, Mont.)-At the Last Best Outdoors Fest, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced new legislation that will give Montana outdoorsmen and women a louder voice in Washington.

Tester’s Outdoor Economy Act will create the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Interior to advise the Administration on ways to increase public access to public land.

“Montana hunters, anglers, business owners and outdoor enthusiasts know how important our public lands are,”
said Tester. “By bringing these folks to the table in Washington, we can ensure that future generations will be able to access the treasured places that are driving our economy and creating jobs.”

The Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee will prepare a biannual report with recommendations on how to increase public access to public lands, address maintenance needs that impact recreational opportunities, reduce barriers for underserved communities to engage in outdoor recreation, promote new and existing service opportunities on public lands, and identify ways for the outdoor recreation community to assist in curtailing the spread of invasive species.

In addition to members from the Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers, the Committee will include one member representing each of the following groups, appointed jointly by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture:

  • State fish and wildlife agencies
  • Tribal governments
  • Hunting organizations
  • Fishing organizations
  • Motorized recreation organizations
  • Horsemen organizations
  • Human-powered transportation organizations
  • Veterans service organizations
  • Organizations that provide education or outreach to encourage youth participation in the outdoors

Tester’s Outdoor Economy Act is available online HERE.