Missoulian: Tester showing leadership on lands

Some politicians like to talk about improving forest management, but few actually try to do anything about it. Frankly, it appears that some want gridlock to continue so they can keep scoring political points.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is different and so is his bill, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. This bill would support forest restoration actions while also protecting wilderness and providing for more outdoor recreation areas. The bill is supported by conservationists, the timber industry, ranchers, hunters and anglers, snowmobilers, mountain bikers and many local business interests.

Sure, some people aren’t happy that the bill doesn’t benefit their particular interest to a greater degree. But that’s exactly how we get progress for all of us.

As a hunter and angler, I am glad to see Senator Tester showing leadership yet again in protecting wilderness, which provides crucial wildlife habitat and public opportunity for hunting and fishing. As a retired Forest Service manager, I am encouraged to see forward momentum on resolving conflicts and improving forest management for all users.