Montana’s Senators are back from Washington and gathering input on transportation and timber issues.
Friday Democrat Jon Tester convened several panels in Helena to prepare for when the federal highway bill expires in May. He invited representatives from transportation, Chamber of Commerce and agriculture and construction companies to talk about the importance of good highways and bridges in Montana.
"So I’ll be able to take these ideas and stories back and hopefully influence the folks I serve with on the necessity of a long-term highway bill that's paid for. One that's robust, one that'll give our kids opportunities in this century because the infrastructure will be there."
Senator Tester says making sure Montana gets what it needs from a federal highway bill is going to be tougher than it was in the past.
"We were very fortunate when Max Baucus was on the environment and public works committe which is where most of this work is gonna be done, because he had a senior position. Now Max is gone, it's gonna require folks like me to get good information from people on the ground in Montana, go back to Washington D.C. and fight for a formula that funds our roads in a way that meets our needs."
Republican Senator Steve Daines is holding three meetings on timber issues in Montana next week. He’s calling them “Forest Management Reform Roundtables.” The first will be in Columbia Falls Tuesday morning, he’ll then come to Missoula on Friday morning, and will be in Bozeman on Saturday morning.
Daines wants to talk with timber industry representatives, local elected officials and area business people about, “the Senate’s work to develop comprehensive forest management reform legislation that grows jobs, improves the health of all ten of Montana’s National Forests, increases recreational access and secures a stable revenue source for Montana counties.”
Invited participants include F.H. Stoltze and Pyramid Mountain Lumber, the Wilderness Society and the Nature Conservancy, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Mule Deer Foundation.
A list of dates, times and locations for Senator Daines’ forest management roundtables is available below.
“Forest Management Reform Roundtables.”
Tuesday, February 17, 10:00 a.m.
F. H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co.
600 Halfmoon Road
Columbia Falls, MT
Expected attendees include representatives from: F. H. Stoltze Lumber, Plum Creek Timber, Pyramid Mountain Lumber, the Wilderness Society, the Nature Conservancy, National Parks Conservation Association, Montana Snowmobile Association, Sanders County, Lincoln County, Mineral County and the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Friday, February 20, 11:00 a.m.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
5705 Grant Creek Road
Expected attendees include representatives from: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sun Mountain Lumber, the Montana Wood Products Association, the Montana Logging Association, Pyramid Mountain Lumber, Citizens for Balanced Use, the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the Mule Deer Foundation and the Boone and Crockett Club, among others.
Saturday, February 21, 11:00 a.m.
Simms Fishing Products
177 Garden Drive
Expected attendees include representatives from: RY Timber, Sun Mountain Lumber, Families for Outdoor Recreation, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, Citizens for Balanced Use and Business for Montana’s Outdoors, among others.