During the past several months, while Sen. Jon Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act has been grabbing most of the headlines and capturing a great deal of attention in Montana, another collaborative effort to preserve one of the state’s last best places, long in the making, was finally unveiled.
It is called the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, and it is being championed by a group called the Coalition to the Protect the Rocky Mountain Front. While it is similar to the three plans that make up the basis for Tester’s act in its collaborative approach, it differs from them in several key ways – and it is deserving of Montanans’ support in its own right.
...The Rocky Mountain Front plan would lock in existing motorized uses and add protections to more than 300,000 acres of roadless areas, in addition to about 86,000 acres of wilderness to the Bob Marshall, Great Bear and Scapegoat wilderness areas, without requiring any amount of “mechanical treatment” or logging. The Rocky Mountain Front, renowned for its sweeping vistas, is not especially sought-after for its timber values.