Tester’s Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act to Receive Senate Hearing

Senator’s Made-in-Montana Forest Management Plan will be in Front of Energy and Natural Resources Committee on February 7

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s popular Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act will receive a Senate committee hearing on February 7.

Tester’s made-in-Montana forest management bill is scheduled for the hearing in front of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Tester will provide testimony on behalf of the sportsmen, lumber-mills, and conservationists who support his bill.

“Montana sportsmen and women, mountain bikers, loggers, hikers and conservationists spent over a decade working together on the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act,” Tester said. “I am proud to join their fight to break the forest management stalemate and protect thousands of acres of public land. We will finally take our next step forward by bringing some Montana common sense to Washington.”

In September, Tester wrote to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to demand a hearing on the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.

Since 2009, Tester worked to secure $19 million in federal funding to implement much of the restoration and timber harvest originally designated in the Upper Blackfoot-Clearwater Valley as a part of his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. These investments created and sustained more than 100 jobs and spurred $33 million in new investment into the local economy.

At the request of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project and with the support of the local timber industry, Tester introduced his bill to implement the remaining recreation and wilderness designations that were included in the original forest management agreement between the local collaborators.

The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act:

  • Protects 79,000 acres of land for the next generations.
  • Authorizes a comprehensive trail plan to provide recreationists with increased access to the Lolo National Forest.
  • Opens up 2,000 acres of currently closed land to snowmobiling.
  • Permanently protects access to 3,800 acres of mountain biking and trail recreation.

You can access a map of the Blackfoot-Clearwater area HERE. You can download a one-pager about the bill HERE, and the bill text is available HERE.