Tester secures $23 million to protect public lands in Montana - TAI News
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Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) successfully obtained tens of millions of dollars for projects in Montana in the latest government funding package, which passed the Senate on March 8, averting a shutdown just hours before the government was set to run out of money.

Tester secured millions to help Montana farmers and ranchers, protect public lands, and shore up dams that provide power and flood control throughout Montana. 

Tester helped secure $23 million to help preserve and maintain 14 public land projects in the state. 

Lolo National Forest will receive $10.5 as it works to revise its land management plan, which, according to the U.S. Forest Service, is used to decide how to allocate land for timber harvesting, recreation, and plant protection.

Another $7 million will go toward the Upper Thompson Connectivity Project, which, according to the Forest Service, is a nearly 50,000-acre project that will protect habitats for threatened species such as grizzly bears, Canada lynx, and bull trout, as well as try to prevent future wildfires and create free public recreation areas. 

Tester helped secure millions in deferred maintenance funds for national parks in the state, including nearly $2.9 million for Flathead National Forest and $4.2 million for Kootenai National Forest. 

Tester has been fighting to get more funding for land and water conservation for years. He co-sponsored the Great American Outdoors Act, which former President Donald Trump signed into law in 2020, to permanently put $900 million annually into the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was created in 1964 to protect natural resources and create public recreation areas.

In addition to funding for national parks and public lands in Montana, Tester helped secure $1 million in funding for livestock management and $30 million for fuel facilities for the Montana Air National Guard.

“I’m glad Republicans and Democrats came together and I’m proud to deliver targeted investments that will honor the commitment we’ve made to our nation’s veterans, support the brave men and women in law enforcement, keep Montana’s public lands and rural economy strong, and invest Montana farmers and ranchers,” Tester said in a news release. “Now I will continue to work as Chairman of the Senate committee that sets the military’s budget to ensure our armed forces have the necessary resources to keep our nation safe.”

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