Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project Launches Ad Campaign Calling on Daines to Support Bill

Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project Launches Ad Campaign Calling on Daines to Support Bill

News Type: State

Helena, Mont. – Members of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project (BCSP) launched an advertising campaign this week calling on Sen. Steve Daines to ensure the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (BCSA) receives a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Daines is a member.

The campaign includes social media ads, billboards in Billings and Bozeman (see first attachment), as well as a radio spot (hear second attachment) on conservative talk radio and Christian stations across the state. The radio spot features Jack Rich, owner of Rich’s Montana Guest Ranch and member of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project steering committee.

“Like 73 percent of Montanans, I support the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, a proposal my neighbors and I worked on for over ten years,” Rich says in the radio spot. “We’re asking for Sen. Daines’ support because this bill is good for business, great for snowmobilers, and essential for keeping the Blackfoot a legendary destination for hunting and fishing. Join us, Sen. Daines.”

The 2018 University of Montana Public Lands Survey found that 73 percent of Montanans, including 68 percent of Montana Republicans, support this bill that would add 80,000 acres to the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, and Mission Mountains Wilderness Areas, as well as open 2,200 acres to high-quality snowmobiling near Ovando and preserve mountain bike access to over 3,800 acres around Spread Mountain.

“Folks in the BCSP spent more than 15 years making sure that Montanans of all stripes would benefit from this bill, and that’s why it enjoys the kind of support it does,” says Ben Horan, executive director of MTB Missoula, a mountain biking advocacy group.

Sen. Jon Tester reintroduced the bill in May 2019.

Among those that support the BCSA are Pyramid Mountain Lumber, the Blue Ribbon Coalition (a motorized advocacy group), Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, International Mountain Bicycling Association, and MTB Missoula, as well as Powell, Missoula, and Lewis and Clark County Commissions.

“At the beginning of 2019, Sen. Daines voted for a public lands package that included designation of 1.3 million acres of Wilderness in several states not named Montana,” says Addrien Marx, member of the BCSP steering committee and former owner of a gas station, hardware store, and deli in Seeley Lake called Rovero’s. “Sen. Daines could have made sure the BCSA was in that lands package, but he didn’t. Now it’s time for him to correct that mistake and actively support the BCSA instead of just pay it lip service.”

One of the bills included in the 2019 John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act lands package was the Emery County Public Land Management Act, which designated 661,000 acres of Wilderness in southern Utah.

“If Sen. Daines can support a bill that designates as Wilderness 660,000 acres in Utah, then what is preventing him from supporting a Montana bill that designates less than 80,000 acres and has the support of 68 percent of Montana Republicans?” asks Lee Boman, another member of the BCSP steering committee. “There is no just no excuse or reasonable explanation for Sen. Daines not to support this bill.”