Friday, February 22, 2013

Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act reintroduced in Congress

After a near-miss last year, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act has been reintroduced in the 113th Congress, on the 100th anniversary of the Sun River Game Preserve. The bill, co-sponsored by Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, would protect wilderness, ranching and recreation opportunities in the mountain range between Augusta and Dupuyer, west of Great Falls. It would designate 208,000 acres as a conservation management area that allows motorized access, biking and other current uses, add another 67,000 acres to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, and support noxious weed prevention programs for agricultural and public lands across the Front. The bill would not affect mineral leasing in Teton and Pondera counties, or energy production on private and state land. The latest version of the bill has provisions protecting grazing practices in conservation management areas and preserving the Benchmark small-plane landing field, Baucus said. The bill also requires the Lewis and Clark National Forest to study ways to improve bicycling opportunities along the Front...more

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