Tester Pushes Energy & Natural Resources Committee for Action on Montana Headwaters Legacy Act

Legislation would protect 376 miles of Montana’s most iconic rivers

As a part of his continued push to strengthen Montana’s outdoor recreation economy, United States Senator Jon Tester recently urged his colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (S-ENRC) for a hearing on his Montana Headwaters Legacy Act.

“Montana’s rivers are a key piece of Montana’s $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy,” wrote Tester in a letter to S-ENRC Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Ranking Member Jon Barrasso (R-WY). “As we face continuing concerns about river management, water quality, and increasing droughts driven by climate change, it’s critical for us to take actions to preserve these rivers and the jobs they support… I thank you for leadership on issues affecting our rivers, and I stand ready to work with you to advance this critical legislation.”

Tester’s Montana Headwaters Legacy Act will protect 376 miles of Montana’s most iconic recreational rivers by designating them as “wild and scenic”-including sections of the Gallatin, Madison, and Smith-to ensure they are permanently protected from short-sighted special interests. The legislation brings together conservationists, outfitters, and recreationalists alike, and is supported by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, American Rivers, American Whitewater, the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and the Gallatin River Task Force.

In 1968, Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to preserve rivers with cultural and recreational value in their free-flowing condition for present and future generations. Less than one-half of one percent of Montana’s approximately 170,000 miles of river is designated as “wild and scenic.”

Read Tester’s full letter to Chairman Manchin and Ranking Barrasso HERE.