The Montana chapter of BHA has been working overtime to kill some bad public lands bills, and support some good wildlife habitat and sportsmen’s rights bills in the legislature this year, but there is one bill that everyone in the state, and country, should support. On February 22nd 2017, Sen. John Tester rolled out the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, and BHA is excited to support it. This bill is the culmination of over a decade of collaborative work among the most diverse conservation coalition Montana has seen.
The BCSA has three major components: recreation, wilderness, and timber production. The local lumber company, wilderness advocates, snowmobile clubs, outfitters, ranchers, and others decided it was time to “neighbor up” and do what is right for the local economy, the conservation of wild places, and the folks that recreate in the Seeley, Swan, and Blackfoot Valleys. The BCSA ensures that timber jobs will stay in place and designates almost 80,000 acres of wilderness, while providing an area for snowmobile and mountain bike recreation. This is what good collaboration looks like. Around the West, collaborations that look like this will most likely succeed. Ones that don’t probably won’t get very far. Now, it’s up to the rest of Montana’s congressional delegation to fully support the BCSA, so that real positive change can be implemented on the ground.