If you want to read a beautiful piece of legislation, consider reading Senate Bill 1470, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (tester.senate.gov/forest). In large type, it clearly addresses the issues before us with solutions that are home-grown. Thank you first to the men and women who through many meetings, over many years, came to see and respect each others’ interest. These association leaders represent the will of tens of thousands of Montanans. Thank you for showing up at the table. Sen. Tester, thank you for listening and acting. Rep. Rehberg and Sen.
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Wilderness has been the flashpoint between environmentalists and the timber industry for 40 years. For most of those years, the timber industry wanted to run three shifts at the mill, the Forest Service wanted to meet unrealistic and destructive targets for board feet, and environmentalists wanted it all. What we got was gridlock, and winning was defined by preventing the other guys from getting what they wanted.
Fighting over forests hasn't worked.
If it did, Montana loggers and sawmills would have all the timber we could saw. Environmentalists might have perfectly preserved wilderness as far as the eye could see. Rural communities surrounded by forests could count on a certain and prosperous future — and worry a bit less about the next fire season.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sen. Jon Tester for introducing his Forest Bill. This bill shows a willingness to work closely with traditionally opposing forest user groups and comes at a crucial time with current threats from beetle kill and the state of the economy. It also helps ensure Montana’s backcountry traditions and access to public land while also providing forest related jobs.
312 Blake St.
We Montanans don’t like it when someone from Washington tries to tell us how to do things in Montana, and rightly so. That’s why I was so pleased to see that Sen. Tester has taken three grassroots collaborations from around the state and brought them together in his recently introduced legislation. These three projects are all the result of years of Montanans openly working with other Montanans to build a robust economy and conserve our natural resources.
As one of the many thousands of Montanans who recreate on our public lands, I would like to thank Sen. Tester for his new bill. Tester’s bill focuses on creating jobs in the timber industry and forest restoration projects. The bill also includes several areas that are managed for specific uses.
Every now and then people are willing to sit across the table from one another and make compromises that benefit a wide variety of folks. Sen. Jon Tester did Montana a big favor on July 17 by drafting his “Forest Jobs and Recreations Act” that says he honors that kind of cooperation. The Forest Service plan that was the backbone of this legislation was the hard, thoughtful work of many people including hunters, anglers, motorized users, conservationists, loggers and mill and wood workers. It was this level of diversity that caught the attention of Sen. Tester.
Thank you Sen. Tester. I read with great enthusiasm in the IR about your Forest Jobs bill unveiled in Townsend on July 17. I especially appreciate how Montanans are working together for the common good of my home state.
Flanked by two wilderness areas, miles of mountain trails and millions of trees that could be cut, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester made his pitch Saturday for the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act he introduced in the Senate on Thursday.
It was a hot sell but not a hard one. The thermometer rose steadily toward 90 degrees in the parking lot of the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Chamber of Commerce barn south oftown. Some of the 125 in attendance fanned themselves with "Thank You Sen. Tester" signs.
Land Tawney hit the nail on the head with his recent opinion piece in the Missoulian. Hunting and fishing are pivotal to the Montana economy and way of life. And nothing ensures future hunting and fishing access better than protecting some of the most important places to do just that.