MTPR

outdoor recreation

U.S. Senate Committee On Energy and Natural Resources

A bill that would protect 79,000 acres of wilderness in the Blackfoot and Clearwater watersheds has been scheduled for a Senate committee hearing in two weeks.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
Bureau of Land Management

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will decide whether to shrink or eliminate 22 national monuments later this month. As Yellowstone Public Radio’s Brie Ripley reports, these monuments are significant money-makers for business owners across the West, who met in Helena and Great Falls Wednesday to discuss their concerns.

In Montana outdoor recreation generates nearly $6 billion in consumer spending annually, and supports over 60,000 jobs.

Boat inspections are mandatory at City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park this season
Nicky Ouellet

As the state ramps up its efforts this year to screen boats for invasive species, some local groups have taken inspections into their own hands.

The City of Whitefish and the Whitefish Lake Institute, for example, have been running two city-funded mandatory check stations since Memorial Day at the only public boat launches on Whitefish Lake. The Whitefish Lake Institute, a local nonprofit that monitors water quality on the lake, also runs a decontamination station.

A bird's eye view of the southern reaches of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

At a ranch near Seeley Lake Wednesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he is introducing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. The bill would protect nearly 80,000 acres of wilderness and develop a comprehensive trail plan to provide recreationists with access to the Lolo National Forest. This would include opening some areas to snowmobiling and protecting access for mountain biking.

Public Hearings Slated For 'Quiet Waters' Initiative
(PD)

An initiative to put new restrictions on motorized watercraft on some river segments in Montana gets public hearings across the state this week.

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers submitted the so-called "Quiet Waters Initiative" petition to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks last March.

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