Senate Bill Would Extend and Expand Forest Program
The U.S. Senate is considering a bipartisan bill that will continue the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. Montana Senator Jon Tester said that bill, which he introduced, will extend the program through 2029 and double the amount of funding from $40 million annually to $80 million. The program is used to maintain roads and trails, tree thinning and culvert restoration.
A news release from Sen. Tester's office noted that over a dozen Montana collaborative projects are underway, including the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project. Another of the recent projects has been the Southwest Montana Crown of the Continent collaborative, which brought in 100 timber jobs in the Seeley Lake area and added about $33 million to the economy, according to Tester.
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Corey Gardner and Michael Bennet of Colorado and Tom Udall of New Mexico.