U.S. Senators Steve Daines, John Tester and Congressman Greg Gianforte are urging the Forest Service to prioritize a conservation easement in northwest Montana that will strengthen the local economy and create jobs.
The Montana delegation threw their support behind an agreement between Stimson Lumber Company and the state of Montana to preserve more than 22,000 acres of private land for timber harvest, wildlife habitat, and recreational access.
“The Kootenai Forestlands Project will not only have significant economic benefits, but will also provide critical conservation gains,” wrote the members. “Protecting these lands also means protecting our state’s clean water, and the protected and game species that support our outdoor heritage.”
At the request of local businesses, the delegation is asking the Forest Service to approve funding for the conservation easement under the Forest Legacy Program, which maximizes public benefits of privately owned forests.
“Obtaining a conservation easement for this site would allow sustainable timber harvest to keep producing four million board feet of timber and $5.25 million in economic activity each year, along with 20 full-time jobs,” wrote Daines, Tester and Gianforte.
The delegation’s letter to Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke can be read HERE.