Between 1994 and 2008, there wasn’t a single hearing in the U.S. Senate on the management of Montana’s wilderness lands. This is Big Sky Country, home of Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. Montana is also home to the Bob Marshall, the Beartooths, and the largest National Forest in the lower 48 states—the wild Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. Yet not even one hearing in 16 years.
However, during the short time span of 2009 and 2011, Sen. Jon Tester has managed to achieve two hearings on the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, a bill that would protect wilderness across western Montana. He has achieved this with unprecedented support from the timber industry and outdoors enthusiasts of all stripes.
In Montana, our wild lands are the envy of the world. The amount of tourists enjoying these magnificent places every year is proof. Political desire to recognize this treasure and ensure it for generations to come is the only aspect lacking. Tester has the will and he is representing Montana in a way it truly deserves.