Sen. Tester’s Wilderness Bill: Our Best Bet for New Wilderness Areas, or Christmas for Timber Companies?

My latest Missoula Notebook column is about Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act:

If passed, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act would designate the first new Wilderness Areas in Montana since 1983, and I’m up here, in a plane provided by the non-profit Ecoflight, to get a first-hand look at what the bill would actually mean to miles of backcountry in some of the most cherished wilderness in the state. Down below me is the battle zone: forests and landscapes treasured by hikers, loggers, snowmobilers, mountain bikers, horse packers, anglers, hunters, and oil and gas firms, among others. The Tester bill aims to protect wild land while satisfying as many of these groups as possible. But can it succeed?

Read the rest here.

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