Third time's the charm: MT Senators reintroduce rivers bill

Both Montana senators reintroduced a bill last week that would keep dams and other industrial projects away from 20 miles of river in Montana's Beartooth Mountains, north of Yellowstone.

Montana's East Rosebud Creek. We've worked for years with local businesses, ranchers, anglers, paddlers, and others to keep this river like it is. (Photo Kathy Lichtendahl.)

Montana's East Rosebud Creek. We've worked for years with local businesses, ranchers, anglers, paddlers, and others to keep this river like it is. (Photo Kathy Lichtendahl.)

Sen. Steve Daines (R) and Sen. Jon Tester (D) introduced Senate bill S. 501 Thursday to permanently protect East Rosebud Creek under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

It's the third time Montana’s lawmakers have introduced a bill to keep dams and other industrial projects from harming East Rosebud. Last year a similar bill came close to becoming law, but it was held up in the House by out-of-state ideologues who oppose conservation measures, no matter how broadly supported locally. Another similar bill was introduced in 2013.

Numerous dam proposals have threatened East Rosebud. As a result, organizers have garnered the support of ranchers, local businesses, homeowner associations, anglers, paddlers, conservationists, and a county commissioner to protect East Rosebud Creek.

"East Rosebud Creek is one of Montana's most hidden treasures with world-class fisheries and breathtaking views," said Sen. Tester in a statement. "This is another made-in-Montana solution that was built through years of on-the-ground collaboration that will allow folks to hike and fish the East Rosebud for generations to come."

"When we designate the East Rosebud it will become the first Wild and Scenic designation in Montana in nearly 40 years," said Sen. Daines in a statement. "I am committed to preserving East Rosebud - one of Montana's greatest treasures for future generations to enjoy."

Thank you, Sen. Tester and Sen. Daines for your continued efforts to protect East Rosebud Creek. We look forward to working together and passing the East Rosebud Wild & Scenic Rivers Act in the 115th Congress. 

-- Charles Wolf Drimal, Waters Conservation Associate