Protecting Southwest Montana’s Hidden Jewel: East Rosebud Creek

To preserve one of Montana’s most hidden treasures, Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines introduced a bill yesterday to designate the East Rosebud Creek as Wild and Scenic. The bill, written with local input through years of collaboration, aims to protect 20 miles of the East Rosebud Creek under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This designation will preserve the free-flowing condition of the pristine creek located south of Roscoe, Montana.

East Rosebud Creek originates high in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, flowing from the slopes of Montana’s highest peaks through East Rosebud Lake and out onto the prairie where it joins the Yellowstone River. Lying within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, East Rosebud Creek possesses remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish,  and wildlife, as well as historic values.

“Wild and Scenic protection of our pristine and beautiful rivers is the best way to ensure that wildlife, native fish, and people thrive and survive well into the future,” said Caroline Byrd, Executive Director, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.  “Introduction of this bill by U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines to protect East Rosebud Creek is a very important step toward greater protection for the outstanding water resources of the 20 million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Our wild mountain rivers provide the water for more than 55 million people in North America. Along with our 40,000 members and supporters, we are proud of U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines for their leadership and bipartisanship on behalf of this important Wild and Scenic East Rosebud legislation.”

“East Rosebud Creek is one of Montana’s most scenic streams,” Tester said.  “This bill is a great example of folks on the ground coming together and producing a made-in-Montana solution that ensures Montanans can hike and fish here for generations to come.”

“Growing up in Montana, I spent countless hours backpacking in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. I know how special the East Rosebud is to our state and I’m proud to join Senator Tester and Representative Zinke in working to protect this treasure for future generations,”  Daines said. “I will continue working for balanced policies to conserve our state’s outdoors heritage and improve access and management of our public lands.”

Less than one-half of one percent of Montana’s approximately 170,000 miles of river is designated as Wild and Scenic. The last time a Montana river was protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was in 1976.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition will continue to advocate for permanent protection of our waters. This bill is a great first step toward our goal of protecting 750 river miles - at least 50 percent - within Greater Yellowstone.