Senator Tester Reintroduces the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act
Wilderness bill supported by 73 percent of Montanans is back in the running
More than a hundred Montanans gathered today at KettleHouse Brewery in Bonner to hear Senator Jon Tester announce that he is reintroducing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.
KettleHouse’s location, along the Blackfoot River, was a fitting place to announce legislation that will permanently protect the key tributaries of the Blackfoot, thereby ensuring that the river and its native trout population – as well as the outdoor recreation economy that depends on the river – remain healthy.
"We need to get this bill passed because we don't find ecosystems like this anywhere else in the world," said Senator Tester to the packed house. "It's on us, it's on me, it's on you to make sure that we keep this area for the next generation. We have an opportunity to show our kids and our grandkids that we can do something right by them."
MWA Deputy Director John Todd emceed the event. In his introduction, he highlighted the virtues that went into crafting this legislation.
“Respect and perseverance are part of what make Montana so special,” he said. “These two things are also what the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act are made of.”
Todd introduced four other speakers, members of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, before Tester took the stage.
Loren Rose, chief operating officer of Pyramid Mountain Lumber, discussed the importance of collaboration and explained that the BCSA came from a desire to find common interests and goals with his neighbors. Ben Horan, executive director of MTB Missoula, spoke about the importance of Montana's outdoor recreation economy and the mutual respect recquired to develop durable land use solutions like the BCSA. Connie and Mack Long, owners of Bob Marshall Wilderness Outfitters, talked about how the act’s wilderness protections honor the outfitting history and backcountry traditions of this landscape.
Now is the time for Senator Daines and Representative Gianforte to support this rock-solid, Montana-made bill that 73 percent of Montanans support.
Call Daines and Gianforte at (406) 510-0339 and request that they support the BCSA.
And if you haven’t contributed to MWA in a while, now is a great time to pitch in $10, $40, $100, or whatever amount is right for you so that we can get this bill passed and add 78,000 acres to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, and Mission Mountains Wilderness Areas, including the Swan Front, Grizzly Basin, Monture Creek, North Fork of the Blackfoot, and West Fork of the Clearwater.
Together we’ll make sure that the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act becomes the next public lands victory in Montana.
- Erin Clark, western Montana field director