Tester’s Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act Gets House Hearing

Senator Calls on Senate Committee to Pass the Bill

(U.S. Senate)-As U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act received a hearing in the U.S. House Representatives today, Tester called on the Senate to send his legislation to the floor for a vote.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on Tester’s legislation in July of 2017. Since then the Committee has taken no action on the bill.

Congressman Greg Gianforte, who introduced Tester’s measure in the U.S. House of Representatives, today held a hearing on the popular bill in the House Natural Resources Committee. Tester and Gianforte are the only members of Montana’s congressional delegation who support the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act.

“Montanans have spoken loud and clear: we want to protect Yellowstone National Park for future generations,” said Tester. “It’s high time Congress get off its duff and pass this important bill. Our state’s economy depends on it.”

Tester’s legislation would permanently protect the gateway to America’s first national park and the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. The bill permanently withdraws unclaimed federal mineral rights on 30,000 acres of public land in the Custer Gallatin National Forest adjacent to the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park, and it eliminates the ability for proposed mines to expand onto unclaimed public land.

“Hundreds of Montana business owners are demanding that Congress pass this bill, because their livelihoods depend on it,” said Tester. “There are no excuses. Both the House and Senate should hold votes on this legislation immediately.”

After two mining companies announced plans to expand their operations near Yellowstone National Park, local business owners approached Tester to find a solution that protects Montana’s robust outdoor economy in the region. He introduced the bill in April of 2017.

Tester recently joined hundreds of local residents in rallying support for the bill.