Idaho/Montana Wilderness Update


Premium Member
Premium Member
Nov 21, 2009
Kennewick, WA

More Shenanigans in Washington - Montana Senator Jon Tester tries to slip massive Wilderness into appropriations bill... again!

Montana Senator Jon Tester failed to secure enough support to pass his massive Wilderness bill via normal legislative process and, for the second time, is attempting to "back door" the bill into law.
Tester slipped the newly titled "Montana Forest Jobs and Restoration Initiative" into the Senate's Interior Department appropriations bill. The bill was formally called the "Forest Jobs and Recreation Act of 2011."
According to a story in the Missoulian by Rob Chaney, the bill is unchanged from what was presented at a Senate Energy and National Resources Committee hearing in May:

Tester jobs, wilderness bill included in U.S. Senate's Interior appropriations bill

Tester has reneged on a promise to remove the popular Mount Jefferson snowmobile area from the bill. During the hearing in May, Senate staff assured Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and Senator James Risch that Mount Jefferson, one of the west's premier snowmobiling areas, would be removed from the bill.
Sandra Mitchell from Idaho Recreation Council confirmed that Mount Jefferson was NOT removed and would be closed if the provision remains in the Interior Appropriations law. Sandra Mitchell also confirmed that Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson and Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg are adamantly opposed to letting the Tester Wilderness pass in the appropriations bill.
Recreationists from across the nation are joining folks in Montana in opposition to this bill. Although Tester's back door shenanigan are truly despicable, it is a sign that by working together we can protect recreational access to our public lands.
Aside from Tester's shenanigans, the appropriations bill is awash in unrelated controversy and some say it won't see any action on the floor of the committee this year. (See story below.)

Interior - EPA bill will not see floor action - Democratic aide will continue to track the situation and keep you updated.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
208-237-1008 ext

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
208-237-1008 ext 107
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