Montana Voices: Blackfoot-Clearwater protection is common sense

By Alex Philp

When the timber industry can sit down with conservationists and ranchers can see eye to eye with recreationists – we need leaders who will listen and honor those efforts.

That’s why the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project is so unique. It’s a Montana-made model for managing our lands – a much better alternative to selling off our public lands to the highest bidder or settling for top-down, one-size-fits-all land management directives from D.C.

As a tech entrepreneur, our public lands provide a competitive advantage in my efforts to attract and retain world-class talent working on innovative tech solutions here in Montana.

For anyone who lives and works in western Montana, we owe a thank you to all of the people who have been dedicated to sitting down around tables to come up with solid answers on how to enhance recreation in the Seeley and Ovando areas, while also supporting timber jobs and reducing wildland fire risk.

Senator Tester took a common-sense approach in listening to locals and carrying a bill that includes their voices. Congress has a huge opportunity to do the right thing and honor the balanced approach that the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act provides. I hope our entire congressional delegation will join Senator Tester in helping to pass this thoughtful and responsible bill.

Alex Philp, Ph.D., is the Founder & Co-Owner GCS Holdings, Incorporated, Founder & President of  N-SITE LLC. and a member of Business for Montana’s Outdoors.