Montana To Consider Bill Protecting Fish Habitat and Forest Jobs

Our friends over at Trout Unlimited alerted us to this bill making it's way through the Montana Senate right now.

Trout Unlimited, The Montana Wildlife Federation, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership all have announced support of a bill for the state of Montana called the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester.

"This bill has broad support from hunters and anglers, simply because it keeps irreplaceable fish and game habitat intact," said Tom Reed, a TU field director based in Bozeman. "The bill is a product of thoughtful compromise and represents the best possible relief for Montana's long wilderness drought. By protecting habitat in perpetuity, the bill protects our rights to fish and hunt on public land in Montana for generations to come."

"The bill, which would designate as wilderness some of the best...

...fish and wildlife habitat in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Lolo and Kootenai national forests, as well as ensure marketable timber harvests in areas where forest health is an issue, will get a hearing in a Senate subcommittee next week, and could move to the full Senate for a vote in early 2010."

"This bill, which strongly reflects Sen. Tester's support of 'home grown' Montana solutions developed through extensive collaborative efforts, would protect wild places, restore miles of currently impaired fish habitat and improve thousands of acres of habitat to support a rich diversity of wildlife species," said Tim Aldrich, president of the Montana Wildlife Federation. "This is all good for hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiast, and it also provides a lifeline for struggling forest products businesses that are important in Montana."

Any Montana anglers out there? As locals what are you hearing about the bill? Are there anglers or hunters apposed to the legislation? Why?

TR