Tester, Daines, Gianforte Work to Support Critical LWCF-Funded Conservation Easement Near Libby

MT delegation sends letter to US Forest Service urging continuation of Kootenai Forestlands Phase II Forest Legacy Project

U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and U.S. Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) wrote a letter to the United States Forest Service (USFS) expressing support for the continuation of a Forest Legacy Project that would create a conservation easement on more than 27,000 acres of Stimson land near Libby.

“This project protects a 27,929 acre area in Northwest Montana that supports the local economy, and the jobs that help rural communities thrive,” wrote the delegation. “…Protecting this landscape is an investment in the rural economy of Montana, and serves as a model for how responsible land management can help protect rural jobs.”

The Kootenai Forestland Phase II Forest Legacy Project draws funding from the critical Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and would permanently protect public access and critical wildlife habitat in the area. The easement would help support Montana’s $7.1 billion outdoor economy while ensuring the continuation of sustainable timber harvest in the area. The project builds on decades of efforts to protect the landscape and wildlife in the Kootenai National Forest, securing long-term habitat protection for endangered or threatened species such as grizzly bears and bull trout.

The MT delegation previously wrote in support of Phase I of the Kootenai Forestland project in FY19 and have continuously advocated to fund LWCF. The project is also supported by the Lincoln Country Commission, The Nature Conservancy, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and other local groups.

Read the Montana delegation’s full letter to USFS HERE.