On the Banks of the Blackfoot River, Tester Introduces Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act

Legislation will protect public lands, boost access to recreational opportunities, strengthen outdoor economy

(Bonner, Mont.) – Standing just yards from the Big Blackfoot River, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced he is reintroducing his Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.

A made-in-Montana bill, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act will protect thousands of acres of public land, ensure future generations can access outdoor recreational opportunities, and strengthen Montana’s outdoor economy.

“This effort is more than a decade in the making, and shows what can happen with folks with diverse interests put aside their differences to work towards the same goal,” Tester said. “This bill brings common-sense solutions to forest management, and will protect some of the most special places in the country for our kids and grandkids.”

Tester was joined in the announcement at the KettleHouse Brewing Company Bonner Taproom by members of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, who also discussed their support for the legislation.

A collaborative effort between local ranchers, timber, recreation, conservation, and wildlife groups who live and work in the Blackfoot River watershed, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act would create jobs and strengthen the local economy. The bill would protect some of the last untouched landscapes in the lower 48, including 79,000 acres of wildlife habitat in the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas. It would also open up 2,013 acres of land to snowmobiling, and 3,800 acres for mountain biking and hiking.

Tester first introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act at the request of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project with the support of the local timber industry. He testified in support of the bill before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year.