For more than a decade, Montanans have worked together to create a lasting solution for public lands in the Blackfoot River watershed. That solution is the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act.

This bill will protect the Blackfoot River by permanently protecting its most important tributaries. It will also secure and expand outdoor recreation opportunities in the Blackfoot and Clearwater valleys, as well as enhance timber production and forest restoration in and around Seeley Lake.

There are three components to the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project: timber, recreation and conservation. The forest restoration section is already underway, through the good work the Southwest Crown Collaborative has initiated and continues in the Seeley and Ovando areas. The recreation and conservation portions are yet to be realized.

The bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), has yet to receive a vote in Congress. You can get involved in the effort to protect these hallowed waters.