Critical Montana Rivers Protection Bill Introduced in Senate

News for Immediate Release
Oct. 27, 2020
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262,
[email protected]

Montana Headwaters Legacy Act would permanently conserve 336 miles of rivers in the state by designating them wild and scenic

MISSOULA, Mont. – Critical waterways in Montana would be permanently protected in new legislation, the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).

Tester’s bill would designate as wild and scenic portions of 17 rivers, totaling 336 stream miles, in the Upper Missouri River and Yellowstone River watersheds. Wild and scenic designations uphold public access and traditional uses of the rivers while ensuring their long-term conservation.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has consistently advocated for the bill’s introduction and is a part of Montanans for Healthy Rivers, a coalition that has secured thousands of individual endorsements and united 1,000-plus businesses and organizations that support the legislation.

“In Montana, rivers are our lifeblood, relied upon by sportsmen and women, fish and wildlife, and businesses and communities across the state,” said BHA Montana chapter chairman John Sullivan. “Montana BHA is grateful to Senator Tester for his leadership, collaborative efforts and vision in recognizing what matters to Montanans and for his commitment to championing this critical legislation, which 80 percent of residents of our state support. We thank him for his continued dedication to our public lands and waters, and we look forward to working with him to advance this bill.”

River segments that would be protected under the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act include the following: 

  • the Smith River and Tenderfoot Creek in the Upper Missouri watershed;
  • the Gallatin River, Hyalite Creek, Upper Madison River and Beartrap Canyon of the Madison River and the Taylor Fork in the Missouri Headwaters region;
  • the Yellowstone River, Boulder River, Rock Creek, Bear Creek, West Boulder River, West Stillwater River, Slough Creek, Hellroaring Creek, Lake Fork Rock Creek, West Fork Rock Creek and the Stillwater River in the Upper Yellowstone watershed.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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