Viewpoint: It’s time to pass the Blackfoot Clearwater Act before it’s too late

Sen. Jon Tester first introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act in 2017. (Dave Stalling/Missoula Current file)

Growing up, I had the good fortune of close access to our beautiful Montana wilderness. Every day after school I would rush into pristine woods, weaving my way through towering pine trees, jagged rock formations, and untouched creeks in pursuit of adventure.

This way of life is rapidly disappearing due to logging, mining, and energy production. It is time to protect our public lands to ensure our Montana way of life for generations to come.

One way in which we can do this is by passing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. This act, proposed by Senator Tester, would add 80,000 acres to the Bob Marshall, Mission Mountain, and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas. This land would be open to all Montanans so that we can all experience the rugged wilderness that makes our state great.

This bill has wide ranging bipartisan support. According to research from Colorado College’s 2022 State of the Rockies, 79% of Montanans support the passage of the BCSA. The opinions of Montanans on similar issues further show how many of us support public lands.

In fact, 80% of Montanans support ensuring access to parks and natural areas. An even greater number, 87%, state that issues involving public lands are important in deciding which public officials to support.

It’s obvious we want to protect our lands, but Senator Daines refuses to support the BCSA. Let’s contact Senator Daines to let him know how many Montanans support this crucial act.