Daines Pushes for the Completion of the Continental Divide Trail
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: June 28, 2023

From the Office of Steve Daines, June 21, 2023

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing called for passage of his bipartisan bill to complete the Continental Divide Trail that runs through Montana.


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“At today’s hearing, we also have the opportunity to hear testimony on my bipartisan bill, Senate Bill 594, the Continental Divide Trail Completion Act. This bill requires the Secretaries of the Interior and Ag to prioritize completion of the trail before 2028, the 50th anniversary of the trail’s designation. The Continental Divide Trail spans over 3000 miles from the northern border of Montana to the southern border of New Mexico. In Montana, the trail starts at Glacier National Park and runs nearly 1000 miles south along the Montana-Idaho border to end in Yellowstone National Park. However, there are numerous gaps in Montana and along the trail that require hikers to track along highways and busy roads.


Mr. Chairman, I like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a map that detailed these gaps. Finishing the trail will benefit communities throughout Montana, especially the gateway communities of Lincoln, Helena, Butte, Anaconda. Outdoor recreation in Montana is nearly a $3 billion economy, supplying over 27,000 jobs. Completing the trail will help bring more tourism through our communities and boost local economies. And some of these economies I mentioned badly need a boost.


And in Montana, hiking, fishing, and being outdoors with your family isn’t just about jobs. It’s a part of our heritage. It’s our way of life in Montana. But with that comes a deep respect for private property rights, which is why the bill strictly prohibits the use of eminent domain, ensuring that private property rights are protected as we expand public access.


The bill has strong support from local communities, recreation groups and more, including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Montana Conservation Corps, the City County of Butte-Silver Bow, the Helena Chamber of Commerce, Glacier County Regional tourism, Lincoln Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Anaconda Trail Society, and many more local as well as national groups.


Chairman, I look forward to hearing from witnesses today and hope that we can pass this bill quickly out of committee and get it to the Senate floor. With that, Mr. Chairman, I turn it back to you and look forward to robust discussion and testimony from our witness.”

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