Monday, October 25, 2021

Advocating for Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act

| July 21, 2021 12:00 AM

In 2017, Montana's outdoor recreation economy generated $7.1 billion.

Two years later, Montana Senator Jon Tester introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, a piece of federal legislation to bolster Montana's economy by protecting 80,000 acres of land for conservation, recreation, and restoration.

98% of Montanans believe that outdoor recreation is important to Montana's economic future. With thousands of acres dedicated to snowmobiling, mountain biking, hiking, and fishing, the act is a tangible step toward further sustaining this valuable resource.

If passed by the U.S. Senate, the act would support a 15-year coalition of ranchers, loggers, conservationists, timber companies, citizens, businesses and outdoor enthusiasts.

Given the current state of political polarization, this range of supporters is almost unprecedented.

The impetus behind this nonpartisan support are the act's multifaceted components, including development of Montana's National Forest System land, additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System, and recreation land designation.

It will also permanently protect the Blackfoot River's important tributaries and amplify forest restoration and sustainable timber harvesting.

Through citizen pressure, Senator Tester can demonstrate the nonpartisan power of this bill to the U.S. Senate. 75% of Montanans endorse this bill, and you can join them by pushing your legislator to advocate for the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.

Shea Brams, Bozeman