With bipartisan support, Senator Jon Tester's landmark Forest Jobs and Recreation Act today passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Tester's bill mandates logging on National Forest Service land while also setting aside some of Montana's most treasured lands. It is the product of a wide-range of Montanans, including loggers, conservationists, motorized recreationists, mountain bikers, and sportsmen and women, working together to benefit Montana lands and Montana's economy.
"This is great news for Montana jobs, our economy and the treasured places we want to preserve for our kids and grandkids," Tester said. "It's also a historic day for compromise. The Forest Jobs and Recreation Act is the result of folks from all over the political spectrum coming together to hammer out a deal that moves everyone forward. This is a good day for Montana."
Tester's bill, first introduced in 2009, will create jobs by putting Montanans to work in the woods and reduce the threat of wildfire by treating forests and removing hazardous fuels. It will also support Montana's $6 billion outdoor economy.
Since introducing the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, Tester has travelled around Montana and met with local stakeholders to strengthen his bill. He noted at a July hearing on his bill that he modified the legislation after talking to ranchers and outdoorsmen and women. Just this year, he worked with Ruby Valley Stockgrowers to amend the wilderness boundaries to ensure the ranchers can continue to maintain their water infrastructure, which protects water quality.