Posted: Jul 30, 2013 7:49 PM by MTN News
U.S. Senator Jon Tester's (D-MT) Forest Jobs & Recreation Act received a hearing before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources subcommittee on Tuesday.
The bill mandates logging in three national forests in Montana: Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Kootenai, and Lolo.
It also designates more than 650,000 acres as wilderness in each of those districts, and also designates areas in the forest for motorized use.
Tester says the bill aims to revive the dying the timber industry while also protecting some of Montana's most breathtaking landscapes.
"This is a breakthrough," Tester told the subcommittee. "Many of the stakeholders that helped write this bill used to only meet in courtrooms. They put aside their differences to support Montana's timber economy, to restore fish and wildlife habitat, and to protect some of our most breathtaking landscapes."
Tester's bill did not pass during the last Congress; he hopes there is more momentum this term.
The entire Senate Energy & Natural Resources committee is expected to vote on the bill soon.