Posted: Jul 31, 2013 5:44 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
U.S. Senator Max Baucus' (D-MT) "Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act" received a hearing on Capital Hill on Tuesday.
The bill would designate more than 200,000 acres as a conservation management area and add more than 65,000 acres to the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex.
Getting this legislation passed is a top priority for Baucus as he nears retirement; he said, "This is not a top-down bill, this is a bottom-up bill. In the best tradition of public lands, Montanans from all walks of life came up with the Heritage Act themselves. I'm determined to bring it to the finish line because it's good policy today that ensures our moral obligation for tomorrow, for our kids and grandkids."
The bill also requires the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to draft a noxious weed management plan for nearly 800,000 acres of land in the Rocky Mountain Front.
Some Montanans who live near the Front are opposed to the bill
Jim Anderson, owner of Grizzly Sports in Choteau, says he sees this bill as government overreach: "The conservation management area, 250,000 more acres gives them an opportunity to control our access more, and of course we are not for that at all. And as a sportsman, recreationalist, and a hunter, I do not believe the people behind the Heritage Act are really for saving the Front and providing us access for generations to come."
The full committee is expected to vote on the Heritage Act in the Fall.