It is refreshing to see such a homegrown Montana solution to what could have been – and is sometimes in other places – a messy and contentious forest management situation. I’m referring to the collaborative solution of the Seeley-Ovando area called the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project. This initiative continues and ensures sustainable timber harvest and restoration work. It mandates forward motion on collaboratively developed trails-based recreation for hikers, bikers, and snowmobilers. Based largely on current forest planning, it adds close to 80,000 acres of wilderness in a landscape that boasts intact populations of original flora and fauna.
A huge bravo and a heartfelt thank you go to Sen. Jon Tester for encouraging the project from the beginning, and for taking it the next step to Washington, DC. To see the BCS Project become the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, and then become law certainly would honor the hardworking Montana folks who created it, but it also would show the way forward to others facing similar issues. I sincerely encourage Sen. Steve Daines to get behind this legislation to make it as bipartisan in D.C. as it is here with his constituents.