U.S. Senator Jon Tester

WASHINGTON, DC – Montana Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) remains optimistic a sweeping piece of legislation to preserve the Upper Blackfoot watershed will prove its worth during a Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

The Blackfoot Stewardship Act will be analyzed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during its hearings Wednesday, just over a year after the Act was first introduced.

It would set aside an unprotected block of back country, and front country wilderness adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The Act has widespread support locally and Sen. Tester hopes that message is heard by the committee.

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“And hopefully, we can get critical mass here in the Senate to get it passed through the Senate and get it over to the House and get it passed and get it to the President’s desk,” Sen. Tester said.

“This is a bill, that like I said, Montanans have been working on for probably ten years, maybe longer. And it’s something that will work for Montana, work for that region of the state,” he told MTN News.

The Act would protect additional wilderness, but also accommodate other uses such as logging, snowmobiling and mountain biking.

Reporting by Dennis Bragg for MTN News