Baucus Signs on to Tester’s Wilderness Proposal

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – U.S. Sen. Jon Tester says fellow Montana Sen. Max Baucus has co-signed a proposal to both add more wilderness and require more logging on federal land.

Tester made the announcement Monday during a public meeting in Missoula meant to answer questions about the “Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.”

Baucus’ support was the first thing Tester mentioned when he started discussing the draft bill. In the past, single-state wilderness bills have had the support of the state’s congressional delegation, but Baucus had been silent on the proposal since it was introduced in July.

The measure would add more than 600,000 acres of wilderness, mostly in southwestern Montana’s Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. But it also designates large swaths of land as open for logging.

Some environmentalists say it gives too much to logging and doesn’t add enough wilderness.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.