Outdoor advocates urge Congress to create more wilderness in Montana


Two decades after then-President Ronald Reagan vetoed a statewide Montana wilderness bill, retired U.S. Forest Service officials and others are urging the state's congressional delegation to take a shot at getting another bill passed by Congress.

"This letter is but another indication that Montanans are trying to jumpstart legislative consideration of wilderness designation," said former Montana Congressman Pat Williams.

Williams was one of 14 wilderness advocates who signed a letter sent Thursday to Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Montana Democrats, and Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., asking them to make new wilderness designation a top priority.

…Dale Bosworth, the retired chief of the U.S. Forest Service, who lives in Missoula, was among those to sign the letter. "We definitely need a wilderness bill for Montana, and it is past time for a statewide bill," he said.